The singing began as they came for the finish
The cheers and proud memorandums
Ran through their minds.
A thousand miles had they run for this,
A thousand pairs of rubber soles they wore down for this,
For the rush and spring of surging muscle
The singing of the blood in their ears,
The creak and music of heartbeat and tendon
And the constanst surge and frantic chant of
"Not long now, not long now."
Then the sky tore open,
As they ran.
Flashing from triumph to fear
In a mere split second.
The bombs tore the air in two
Cutting wind and breath, and flesh.
No one knew, for a moment what to do.
Then the first tried to rise, and couldn't.
Blood was pouring down, he tried-
To raise himself up, and decided he shouldn't.
How much blood could he lose?
Worse was when she didn't move
When she fell and slapped the pavement.
Someone half expected her to bounce back-
Worse was when she didn't.
Best were those first responders
Fiercely terrified though they were,
They ran like Gideons through the fire.
To reach those bleeding in the dirt.
Best were those nameless heroes.
Who didn't flinch when limbs were torn.
Those maybe-angels with hands so gentle,
that lifted the weeping
And carried them to safety.
Best were those average heroes,
With no vibranium shields or iron armor
Who stepped up to the plate with eyes of steel,
And hands so gentle
So as not to cause more pain.
Best were those average angels.