At Her Door


A young soldier ran for the forest.
a clamorous and deafening roar
pushed him past the treeline of the
unknown, wooded realm. 
his vision obscured -- 
he couldn't tell what obstructed his
view: the pervasive, lingering flash
of the calamitous roar,
or just his tears mixing with the
loose, dispersed dirt that took
to flight in the wake of the Sound.
he felt the passing of eternity
before he found the strength --
or will -- to get to his feet and
soldier on.
deeper into the woods, he went,
carrying on in frustration over
the partial loss of his view.
he stumbled more times than
he would wish to count, and each
fall was a descent into a maddening
thought: 'should I go on?'
the young soldier found comfort against
the bark of a lonely tree in the forest.
there, he saw children, in flashes,
running past, with joy and endearing
smiles on their sweet faces.
'my children,' the soldier thought, then
'my children', he tried to speak but
the young soldier floundered. 
there was just too much blood
obstructing the path of his words.
he scrambled to his feet, regretted
such a feat, and headed deeper into
the forest -- he was grateful the
enemy had yet to find him.
the young soldier came upon a
meadow, its flowing river had
waters running so crystal clear.
he stumbled toward refreshment
but was stalled in his steps at
the sight of a beautiful woman
lying naked in the meadows. 
she smiled and robed her flawless
flesh, then greeted the young soldier.
'you're quite a mess. come closer to
the water. let me bathe you, soldier.'
hesitant, he dipped into the waters.
'there's men after me,' he said. 'they
wish to kill me.'
the lovely, robed woman pressed warm
hands to the soldier's bare chest;
the grime seemed to fall away.
'those men know me all too well,' she
said, 'they will not harm you when
they see you are now in my care.'
the soldier looked down at his naked
body -- now clean, without wounds.
'how --,' the soldier began but the woman
pressed a finger to his lips.
'lie with me,' she said. 
she brushed his hair with her long, pale
fingers. 'hush now. rest now, handsome
boy. I will watch over you now. you will
never be harmed again. you will never
feel pain again. I will protect you with
my life.'
'why,' he asked. 'who are you,' asked the
young soldier.
she pressed her lips to his, to quiet his
ceaseless comtemplations.
her fingertips brushed the tops of his
eyelids and gently pressed down.
'hush, boy. sleep. I will love you here,
now and forever. I am your eternal
mistress. my name is Death.'