Spring 2007 Poetry Competition Third Prize

The Battleground


by Carol Wolrich





Strewn sticks and fractured twigs;

the broken bones and limbs of the

scarred and wounded, in the battle-

­ground of the winter woods. We pick

our way through the scattered pieces

on the saturated forest floor.


The betrayal of damage around every

battered tree, where the warriors had

locked horns yesterday, up there in the

high, angry branches; brother against

brother, fighting for their right to

remain standing.


Everywhere, the butchery; great oaks

split in two; sap weeping like antique

blood down the crevices of bitter bark.

Whole trunks lying helpless where they'd

fallen, through the savage madness of

the January storm.


And, here, lie their abandoned weapons,

like arrows, spear tips and broken lance-

heads from some primitive war; before the

days of muskets, tanks or bullets; these

 myriad strips of kindling - treasure ripe

for looting, amongst the dead and dying.


 ©2007 Carol Wolrich

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