The Gladiator

Written by: Samia Ali Arroyo

Blood mixed with dirt was still moist on the ground.
Traces of battle were scattered around.
The man entered slowly, a snare on his face.
Trying to hide his contempt and disgrace.

Announced by the cheers of the people above.
Among all the fighters they showed him most love.
Never defeated, no matter the foe.
With him they all knew they would soon see a show.

The man was all muscle, and seven feet tall.
Compared to his size, all the guards appeared small.
His skin was tanned golden, his eyes piercing green.
His hair long and braided and dark with a sheen.

His helmet of metal was fitted just so.
His sword and his shield had a rich, shiny glow.
A belt made of leather protected his waist.
His greaves, thick and sturdy and perfectly laced.

Suddenly silent, the crowd had grown still.
Awaiting arrival, expecting a thrill.
And then there was thunder, the roar of the beast.
Declaring his entrance, predicting a feast.

The man and the lion began in their game.
Predator, prey, they both looked the same.
They circled and circled and then in a blink.
The cat had attacked, so anxious to drink.

They struggled together, locked in a war.
The crowd cheered them on, hoping for gore.
And then he was bitten, the wound on his leg.
But he would not fumble and he would not beg.

He reached for his weapon so close where it lay.
He would not accept this would be his last day.
And just as the creature had pounced in the air.
He killed the great cat with his sword and a prayer.

The fighter stood up with his blood dripping down.
The steel of his helmet concealing his frown.
The great gladiator continued to reign.
Another he killed, one more smile he must feign.