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Poem Details  

Title: One Last Rehearsal
Author: Andy Witmyer
Date Submitted: 3/31/2016
Email: cawitmy@gmail.com

Poem: There was a still grayness in the heavy air that autumn
day / Muddled curtains of light descending through / Swirling wisps of pale rain bending / Enclosing a stone-strewn field in a stoic silence / The long march of footmen you see / All of them pointlessly enduring / Hanging on for just one more breath / Lungs inundating flame / Yet no one wants to say it while they’re able / So obvious and so narrow / Bookended betwixt a brash frame of words / Some faintly written / Others in a vial, still imprisoned / Roughly 14 billion eyes and mirrored / Reflections of the meekest of faces; all riddled with error / Sadistically fashioned by the hands of one cosmic toddler / Love at the cost of blood / All marching in lock stock folly / Singing their praises in the choir of war / Laying prostrate and so desperate / Some pray to live / Others, to die / But, the heavenly child is distracted / Oblivious to the chorus / Of one hundred million screams / Each one tidally bound, and drowned / In a vast sea of the blackest oblivion / Yes, the footmen persist, but why? / For in the end, there can be no mercy / And the war must go on / The child god demands it / Until that day / All must remain as prisoners / In love with pain and self-mutilation / Shell shocked silence marks their holy termination / In spite of these betrayals / My family (and those who were my friends) / We all stood together beneath a mottled sun / Eyes drawn upward / To a sky of fear and ancient sorrow / Reflecting a canvas of feigned disbelief / Huddled and gray / We could do little more than watch / It was then that my eyes came upon an elder fellow / Half-rusted shovel clenched between palsied hands / With raindrops and sweat falling from his tearless eyes / He shoveled upon the wounded soil / One last pile of cold soggy earth / And, at last, the hole was sealed / My father’s last rehearsal / His consequence of birth...