And Death Rode With Me

---And Death Rode With Me---

Before being knocked unconscious the battlefield was alive and fierce with roaring fight,
Now it is silent and I hear no cries for help as the thin mist fills the inky night.

In the hail of darkness, I lie here blindly and gradually begin to bleed.
Where is my safe travel through? Where now is my trusting steed?

Fallen from her, my position is vulnerable and exposed,
I plea her return with a curt whistle, then a painful woe.

Night’s heavy brow has cloaked her; she is alone as I am now,
Though alone is not how I feel, something lurks but makes no sound.

I am at the mercy of the night, and what presides here begins to stir,
I fear Evil lies in wait for me, and it smells my wound I’m sure.

From a concealed sheath I defensively draw my blade, though I have already missed the fight.
Of many battles and countless crusades, on this night did I truly fear my life.

Using my rapier as a crutch, I move hastily now and drowsily stagger to one knee,
Finding it painful to breathe, I wipe the blood from my mouth and softly begin to speak.

Not of curses nor in anger of my frightened and absent mare,
No, I speak as a thoroughgoing man and under my breath I utter a prayer.

For safety I request and for the next day my eyes to gaze upon,
To see my wife and child again, who take shelter in the hills beyond.

My outspoken thoughts are abruptly cut off by distant thuds and the snapping of twigs,
I raise my sword and vainly peer towards the clatter, to die alone is not my requested bid.

Through the moon's sullen glow the thick fog of my breath appears,
A fear boils inside of me, breaking through the callous of wars of past years.

Then on my flank I sense the plodding of hooves and hear the faint nicker of my formerly absent mount,
She is unfamiliar with the land and has come back to me, her fears overcome and her mind now sound.

Briskly, but cautiously she trots to my side and kneels before me, sensing my new handicap,
I grab hold of her mane then pull myself up, and with the command of go, my heel gives the snap.

The blood soaked turf is riddled with mangled corpses and seems to stretch for an eternity and beyond.
We creep past the dead as if not to wake them, but it is too late and they are all gone.

Suddenly I realize who stirs, and I stop to ponder and peer about.
It is death and he looms over this field, his tally impossible to count.

by Shaun Yetter
November, 2003