The last stand

If now be the time, then let them come.

I see one among countless leaves falling; the serrated edge
and yellowing veins against the green.
I feel the tips of grass stems catch the leaf’s damp surface
and hold it, in the autumn light, above the hidden ground.

That same light on their spears, glinting and beautiful; precise,
and honed by craftsmen; strangers like me.
I imagine one among many, held up to the light – admired by the blacksmith
and his daughter; his life’s work, and love,
sharp.

I think of my children, at home, the lives they’ll live still,
laughing in the sun, which will rise again.
I think of leaves and spears and people, and the sun.

The buckle on my neighbour’s belt, dull iron across worn leather;
much used, and moving gently with his breath;
condensing in the air.

That buckle will endure.

Mist covers the valley, and their spears dissolve.
The leaves fall more slowly now.

If now be the time, then let them come.
If this be the place, then let me stand.
For now time stops,
and here I am.

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Running a small engineering business in England in 2012 is not quite the same as standing with Harold against the Normans in 1066, but sometimes it feels like it. Today was such a day.

Posted at Poets United.