He ran out before the crickets stopped singing,
Before the sun rose or the village fiddler and the chief's wife stopped sinning,
All he has is a gourd of milk and a virgin spear,
A ritual to fulfill and a brave heart full of fear,
Fear of the unknown,
Only the dictates of culture on how a warrior is born,
The right of passage from boy to man.
Maybe naive but he has no plan,
Only courage and ambition,
'I'll show them, they'll see, no one shall ever be a greater warrior than me.'
He thinks as he steals a glance at the sleeping village,
The sole of his foot kisses the earth as he takes another step,
And the cold morning dew tickles him all the way to his heart,
Pumping spirit into him-
He looks up to the morning star,
From that far he hears the voices of his ancestors in unison's spur,
Maybe its in excitement that he hears them cheer,
Maybe its the last call to recover from fear,
After all, he is seeking to kill,
Baying for the blood of the beast,
Who's killed a host of other young warriors,
They say it has a limp in its walk,
Legend has it, it understands the language warriors talk,
When it roars, its voice rings on for days and days,
And you cant find it, it finds you for it knows your ways,
They say its not just a beast, but a man,
A warrior cursed by the medicine man for betraying his clan,
But to him. it's simply a beast,
The only thing standing between him and his warrior's return feast...
Then he sees it, or it sees him,
The sun is emerging from the other side from where it drops,
They are stuck in between their stare and the glare of the big ball of fire,
It's like the world stops to partake of this tragedy,
Not even a thespian could create a scene with better harmony,
The dialogue begins held between changing scenes,
The script is somewhat the same;
The beast is tired of being hunted for game,
And he is tired of being called a boy, the shame!
He rolls over!
They get back on their feet, dust settles and it's not over.
They cannot settle for a draw,
He seeks the beast's heart,
He sees it beating against its chest,
It stares at his neck;
'Just one bite and it's over I can rest.'
He looks behind and sees a pivot for his spear,
it looks in his eyes and sees fear,
They both think it's a perfect time to strike,
It surges forward-
He falls back!
Placing his spear on its pivot's rack,
It jumps in mid air for its attack;
He calls on his ancestors as its jaws take hold of his neck...
The last thing he saw before it all went dark,
Was his virgin spear tearing through the lion's back.
Barak Al'Mondia's Other Poems
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