From the bloody ground

of invasion from within,

I smile with feign warmth

and speak words

of triumph, not defeat.


But what more can I do?


It is back

with numbers multitudinous,

and I will have to fight

against this concealed enemy

that is as cunning

and as silent

as the best assassin.


The weapons will

come out again

in this war for life,

a war that hurts me

as much as the enemy;

and to win,

to vanquish the foe,

will have

its cost as I

take back territory.


While I may smile

and speak words of assurance

and keep saying to myself

and others, ‘It’s going to be okay’,

the battle is about to begin

and I cannot

be sure

who will win

or whether it is

even worth the fight.


Now I exist

in the throes of battle,

with all at the ready,

but certain of nothing.

Then into my head come the words

of an old poem from school days:


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.