Finally Found

green glare

Night skies flickering
staticky green
as we approach on foot
cross fields and fences
closer to foreboding sources
eerily hiding beyond

into the tree line we silently creep
snow stacks
only possibility awaits
descend through dark woods
as our urgent courage trembles
and scarring nightmares bait

no animals stir, the wind is still
the only noise the crunching of my feet
and the soft thunder nearing crackle
popping of a distant roaring blaze
eyes wide, ears straining
over the heart thats thudding in my throat
shuttering limbs ache struggling
against collecting cold wet weight

stretching scratching boney brown fingers
that snag clawing at my legs and cheeks
protecting, defending an approaching scene
I have no right to see

trickling passed
charred bark emerging
even the stars are hiding behind
a blanket of dancing smoke
and billowing green licking
unveiled turns
to orange and yellow strobes

an apocalyptic night
where rows of houses smolder
on a deserted village road
seven skeleton frames dance frightful
with a ravenous bouncing glow

that lick their ribs
while timid searchings reach
the end of ten houses
that line this humble rural street

all personal belongings still in place
just walked away from and left
dinner still set

hair brush on a cabinet counter
mirror empty reflecting
this ghost town still frame staged
only touched and used by flames
still bouncing

no bodies to be found
no children, no laughing,
no running, no playing
no dogs barking

only cold night air knows the sense
behind this scene
devouring what’s left

save three random houses
reverently passed over
doors gaping, whole and intact
no harm to be discovered

vanishing demons set this blaze
appeased only by the toll three houses dawn
upside down, over the front door
a single white rag and red roses are hung
welcoming abandoned conviction
that won’t cost them anymore

we thought we had found
what there was to find
but this was not the only secret held by this night
there was one more house
crackling in silence
the last in the row
up on the right

it had been the last
to be set on fire,
the last one passed
on the way out of town
and looking in from out along the road
there he sat blindly staring
black
gagged
finally found

charred smoke rising
lapping his fragility
now resting
center stage
as if welcoming

a host just inside the doorway
hands and feet still tied
no expression or panic
but the pain endured
could not be denied

singeing smell of hair and flesh
billowing past a naked door
where no lamb’s blood
had been hung this time
to quench the thirst
for the unholy’s first born

savage, unforgiving,
having stopped, ravenous,
exerting their strength
frightful, gluttonous

no longer moving
kindling teeth caged this tragic form
the only one who refused to leave
the only one who would not give in to more

he had stood against
these demons
unable to stop
ingeniously propped
made to watch
as friends and family passed
herded like cattle
by scouring wolves
nipping at their heels
with threats
chasing generations
forging a new reality
accepting the lessons
devils taught
he watched
alone
sat as a warning
they were not their own
but at the mercy
of maniacal hatred
being beaten,
judged by no jury
yet found guilty and stoned

it was then I felt
the cruelty and speed
with which reality can be changed
while those
who cannot
even fathom
the destruction
watch in awe
at murder
and persecution
not wanting to believe
not thinking its real
always just observing

then there are the few
like this one
who understand the cost
who are willing and fast enough
to stand up before all is lost

this was this man
who refused to give in
he chose not to follow
and for that was condemned
he sat on the edge
in the last house
on the way out of town
not a warning to the defiant
but a testament to the strong
a symbol of hope
to show just how much had gone wrong

he had become the kindling
for the wildfire
that would finally burn
and be the driving force
for when it became their turn
to not just obey
too tired to mourn
when enough of this reality
had set in
and they were faced
with another choice
to let their demons
take over
or use their voice

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