Fall of the Sanguine Scion
He stood among the fervor and frenzy
of the mob there to greet him;
he gazed at the smiles that reached
all the way to their eyes.
That field susurrated a contented sigh,
sun glowing gold on the dust
as he made his anticipated return
to this his home, this his stage.
Each man who had e'er taken up the gauntlet
wore it only once against him,
each unknown to him in the breaths before the bout,
each forgotten in the blood beneath his boots.
The cheers were for his glory alone,
the hungering cries, the lustful roar;
eager for a display of violent prowess,
urgently seeking the thrill of a victory.
Yet today those calls met his ear ragged, hollow,
and many days afore this the same;
how many more to the ground would he send,
how much more carnage could he carry out?
He caught in his adversary's eyes that same doubt,
alike the wear of purposeless, performed war;
alas, the scene was set, the players placed,
the gladiators helpless but to battle.
The horn resounded, the clarion call to clash,
and blade met air as he eluded the first swing;
blow for blow they struggled, striving to strike,
inch over inch of empty dirt their contest strained.
He found that he fought not for praise this day,
but for life, against this villain so close to himself;
against this demon with eyes much the same as his,
against this monster bearing also the crimson stain.
Eventide blazing crossed his sight
as the golden disc turned red,
as his sword found his enemy at last,
as his foe's so caught him finally true.
Here he saw, at the finale of the feud,
he was alone in the arena of his life and of his death,
as forsaken as the myriad in his wake;
silence met the fall of the sanguine scion.
Copyright © Andy Sprouse | Year Posted 2019