A Descent (Post-Martyrdom)

The Journey Back 

is an interesting one

miles of walking on 

tired, callused, bloodied feet.

treading back over 

that eroded ground. 

 

We talk about 

The Journey There, 

yes, 

the triumphant march up 

that mountain, 

the charge into battle, 

those loud yells of courage 

and the plans drawn in dirt 

with a sickly stick. 

 

To look the beast in the eye, 

now that’s a feat 

We’ll reward you for it,

put a crown on your head, 

and heavy medal around your shoulders 

it’ll bow you down to reverent ground

in a prayer

that falls on deaf ears. 

 

Back in the village

high voices shriek and chatter, 

questions numbering a million.

How did you get there, 

What monsters did you battle, 

and What was the final fight like?

 

They mourn loss beside you 

but  

They didn’t have to carry that corpse 

down the mountain 

They didn’t sit with it 

at meals 

They didn’t lie beside it 

at the fireside. 

 

They speak over

your mumbles,

drag you by those

bruised hands

and show you

their monument

the statue stands

in the center of the square

all of you in glorious,

polished metal

the corpse stands upright

with a misshapen face

that doesn’t quite look right

you suppose everyone

looks different

after death

you lay flowers at its feet

they wilt by tuesday.

 

No one asks about the way down 

the mountain, 

treading back over 

those singed fields 

legs slow and heavy 

lethargy seeping into your bones 

dried rivers 

on your face 

cracking into wrinkles 

like erosion in rock. 

 

You sit at the bar

grab a mug

that tastes of yeast

and they all clamor around again

buy drinks

just for you

the fire crackles behind

like a thousand tiny

cannons firing in your ears

you smile like a burning log

and they keep opening

their mouths

again and again and again.

 

You were tired.

They were tired. 

We ask again 

about the climb.

 

This poem is about: 
Our world

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