Requiem
The anguished night fell away from the horizon like a clinging child in his
mother's arms. In its place tingled the warmth and glow of the tangerine sun. Its simple
majestic beauty became visible across the bloodstained land. The light fell across bodies
laying dormant among their comrades and enemies.
The pungent scent of gunpowder still lingered in the air. The field was in a valley
between two hills, near a small lake. A dust-strewn pathway lead from a small cottage
on the north hill down to the watering hole.
A small man of eighty-two years scuttled down towards the field, which only
hours before had been filled with dying screams and war cries. The two were
indistinguishable at times.
He carried on his hunched back a large sack and leaned on a spindly branch for a
cane. A look of concentration covered his face, and his breath was released in puffs as
he made his way down.
He smiled a sad smile as he approached the first mangled body. He said a prayer,
and he began removing items from his bag. An old rusted shovel, a Bible, and a carefully
gathered bundle of wildflowers.
It was midday before the grave was dug. As carefully as he could, he eased the body
down to rest. As the dirt fell, the bent old man prayed for the soul who had fought so
valiantly. Then he meticulously moved to the next soldier.