NHT's Writing Desk

Battle

White Horse carries me 
through an opened summer forest
filled with dappled birches dancing ...
I ride with another, my older brother -
and we fight the good fight side by side.
The terror today chases us toward Death
in these fine woods of ours.

Suddenly I am wrenched from off my horse,
who whinnies disapproval, then circles ‘round for me.
The ground pounds hard against my shoulder,
forcing an air explosion from deep within my lungs,
legs and feet thrown up against the sky.
A face slides into view blocks out the sun -
leathery old white skin 
stretching into a toothless lusty, lascivious grin, 
a gleaming blade tip comes to rest upon my chin.

My brother's voice, grave, concerned,
breaks through the din of commotion -
"'Y'all right, itabee?"
I look to see him divert slashes of another's blade,
the owner now drop-kicked to the ground.

When my foot swings up hard in mimicry
against the would-be rapist's crotch, 
a wild roar drowns out battle, freezing most the action
'cept a knife dropping, a hand groin-reaching -
and in that frozen instant I roll free of the heap collapsing ...

"I’m okay!" I tell my brother,
who sits already atop his steed, waiting.
I grab White Horse's mane and,
giving silent thanks to live another day,
i swing myself up onto the safety of her back.

I did not know a man would fall so easily. 



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