Battle Cry

I used to shake at
the sight of sticks and stones, tremble within my broken bones.

I once gathered up
your insults, carried
them all home.

But I’m not that exoskeleton any longer.

I grew a spine,
much stronger, the
fawn of aging vertebrae.

Learned not to pray for
simple brawn
(yawn) but
gaunt power given as titans
among us fade.

I adapted to the day,
though my forte was dark.

Ill-fitted for the role, I’m still playing the part. What part, you ask? A warrior.

But will it last?

Long as my battle cry is heard, storied song of bloody words, carried by
the ravens;
it pushes whole
invasions back,
holds up the
ramparts and downs
dragons in long grass.

You judge me for my size, the only thing I lack.

I’ve the bellow of giants, and those sticks and bits that used to chip me are but

kisses of debris
sliding off my back.

In this final,
eleventh hour act,
my pen defeats your axe or gun or sword,
because I was born
to come out swinging,

the battle’s turning tide in final form.

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