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Frank Messina

Burden of the Warrior

All the burdens of mankind
the wicked deeds of men, women, children
only by the almighty
are we to judge one, two, three
crimes, when
we ourselves have committed?

Self, the sleeper, repenter
of life imperfect with squeaking hinges
and busted frames
mother's widow face
with love of life, acceptance
of the General fallen
he, the sturdy one watching over

Nation, have you betrayed me?
I've fought for justice
when the wicked memories of five years on
still haunt my bed; burned and savaged, the skeletal lover,
now gone
I lay my guns before your honor

The warrior has come home
I am done bleeding for your wrath
each night I dream of father
roots from the ground
and on the other end of those
sturdy limbs are a million army dead
yet on my hands are their own blood red

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Frank Messina

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