Byron S. Keats

Rookie - 0 Points (6 June 1944 / Barrow, AK)

Survival - Poem by Byron S. Keats

For more than fifty years
I've tiptoed catlike
Through the sacred minefield
Behind your eyes;

Been caressed by your lithe arms,
The jagged, gentle barbwire
Circling the muddy trenches
Of our rocky relationship;

Tasted saccharine invective
That smothers my spirit
Like acrid mustard gas;

Endured the burning sting
Of lovely, cutting shrapnel
From your querulous tongue;

Been rudely catapulted
From the crumbling bastion
Of my once-indomitable hope
By each cataclysmic convulsion,
Landing on my feet each time,
Broken but not destroyed;

Marched on beside you,
Or behind you, stumbling, staggering
Across this fated field.

To the victor go the spoils,
But the spoils are few and bittersweet.

Success, after all, is survival.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 12, 2012

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