Into the Sunset

At last he came at twilight to the cold and bitter end,

And steeled himself against all thoughts of fear or turning back.

The world moved on and with it went all mirth, but he remained

Forlorn and drifting, aimless destination off the tracks.

There was no hint of glowing golden light to show the way,

No comfort from an old familiar voice with friendly words.

"I've been forsaken by my kin for long forgotten deeds.

I am the last, my task is futile and my prayers unheard."

So long since he enjoyed himself, he looked around and saw

What others had, it felt like wanting someone else's wife.

A murky view through frosted panes where glow of hearth conferred

A teasing taste of safety from outside, a spark of life.

How many years since he had heard the call of ocean waves?

It hurt his mind to think of all the swiftly fleeting time

He wasted sailing over seas and seeking fortune's wealth,

While laying in his bunk at night just waiting for a sign

To urge him from his wandering ways, that he had been redeemed

For all the old things petty, cruel or evil he had done

In anger, vengeance, foolish pride, or even yet remorse.

Their reasons and regrets are painful to a fallen one.

The sun was shining just a little brighter long ago

Green grass of home, the smell of dinnertime, he knew them all

A summer night beneath the stars, October's autumn breeze

The leaves must turn from green to red and gold before they fall.

But even in the best of times the grass isn't always green,

A cloudy morning comes, some days the sun forgets to shine.

He felt these things more keenly when the one he had first loved

Was taken from his life while he was forced to stay behind.

"What good can I accomplish if I try to fight the world

When it is so much bigger and more powerful than me?

I will not bow to mortal man or any lesser god,

But I can't change what I've become, nor challenge what will be."

Alone he bore his fate, through all these years refused to quit.

Against all odds he stood the test of time yet gained no ground.

To fight the good fight he had learned from heroes of his youth,

That one should give your best, and take no failure lying down.

He missed the times of grim resolve when all seemed nearly lost,

A silver lining showed itself with hope to blunt his fall.

"Better to hate and seek revenge for all that I have borne

Against my will and pride, than have no feelings left at all."

The times have changed and maybe gotten darker, but he's still

The same old vitriolic suffering soul he used to be,

Trapped in a dull and dreary world whose times are out of joint,

Armed with an out-of-fashion code of honor no one sees.

No more to roam, he's called away, the fight is over now.

Where did he go that final day, did he find peace somehow?

The answers we may never know, on guesswork we depend.

No suicidal note nor blaze of glory in the end.

But wasn't there today a hint of golden setting sun

above the smoke of burning from our endless earthly wars?

Its glow reflects and scatters light from rising moonlit face

To give us comfort as we seek a stairway to the stars.