We gazed upon their bones that day
The steel and hammered bones
Laid bare before our eyes
As never should have been
Bones should their secrets keep,
Beneath their modest skins.
Wrought skeletons should not twist,
And creak, and die.
Hear steel, whispering, lament,
“I failed, failed all those in my care.
I could not stand and give them shelter here.
Dying, I stole their precious lives.
I failed, I fell, craven,
Made of my own once proud place,
A killing field.
I reach with all my feeble strength
Steel fingers to the sky,
A plea to bring hate down.
Innocence lies dead and rouses sleeping giant’s breast,
But you who remain, guard your hearts
From the spawn of hate here sown.
This killing field is death enough.
Hate them not, for that is where their triumph lies.
The innocent live among them too.
Take no joy in blood and death
Be not the mirror of hate-dark souls,
For so hate is proven right,
Reason given to its lies.
You did not hate before today;
You’d made no war on god or creed;
Nor should you now make war for vengeance’s sake,
Or all who die on hate’s killing field
Will bloody lie forever more.
If solace for their souls you seek,
Then, guard your hearts from hate!”
[originally published on September 11, 2013. Revised version.]