The Thanksgiving Surrender…

The Thanksgiving Surrender

A light snow was falling,

The fall air crisp and cold

Hard winds whipping in from the west

Indicating change was on the way

Heavy mist in every direction

The tree line blurred and hidden

An unexpected silence spreading

It was as if nature understood

Knew something was coming

And coming sooner than anyone knew

The silence suddenly broken

Voices, once a whisper, now audible

A clanging of metal on metal

Knives being sharpened

Plans being made

Orders being handed down

Troops on the move

No surrender, the cry

Never surrender

A flurry of action by the first wave

Everyone brought to gather

To wait and to listen

A prayer spoken aloud

Eyes closed and heads bowed

Now as so many times in the past

These faces, much too young faces

Watching and waiting

Anticipating the battle ahead

The moment of silence

And then the movements begin

Weapons being wielded

As the boys form into ranks

Eyes showing the stories

Some as green as the spring grass

While the veterans gather behind

No man worth anymore or any less

On a day when deeds supplant words

Some ponder on other things

The women and girls

Mothers, wives, and daughters

Today, the fight comes home

In our lands, our places

As the first wave commences

Sharpened blades cutting into soft flesh

The noise and chaos of battle

Voices shouting above the sound

Some crying for support

While others try to hold the lines

A few of the younger ones fall

Faces painted in horror

The onslaught too much to bear

Empty spaces in the lines

Filled by unseen hands

Hot, messy, and without order

I watch those around me

My brothers in arms and my friends

Each one succumbs

Overwhelmed by sheer numbers

One by one they fade away

Slowing until no longer moving

Faces in shocked frames

Sightless eyes filled with hollowness

Until nothing and no one

I’m alone on this battlefield

My knife dripping

Body heaving and heavy

With fortitude, I refuse to stop

Moving through what remains

I slice, and tear, and cut

The noise of battle grows quiet

And yet the enemy remains

Exhausted, I lay down my weapon

My brow damp and my body weak

I look skyward for a sign

Something, anything

With all I’ve been through

And watched my brothers try and fail

But refuse to surrender

How shall I find the courage?

To have that second piece of pumpkin pie….

 

More from this author

Thanksgiving’s Pagan Roots

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Orange and Round

 

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)
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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

2 thoughts on “The Thanksgiving Surrender…

  • November 25, 2019 at 2:50 PM
    Permalink

    Beautifully penned, tense, a battle fought hard, then that surrender to the final action – go ahead, take that second piece of pumpkin pie, you deserve it. Great work, Ralph.

    Reply

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