The Soldier’s Exit


There stands the pine tree tall,
its branches waving over all
the mossy forest floor.

Against the craggy cliff
the fading sunlight drifts:
now passing into lore.

And distant cataracts,
their awe lost to my tracks,
still faintly heard to roar.

And grander still the weight,
a grandeur found in fate:
my time’s an ebbing shore.

The sun is setting low;
in quickly darkness flows,
and lo, the ferry’s oar.

Out of my mouth a coin,
my fare so I may join
those who have gone before.

Yet still will stand the pine
when I have paid my fine
and left his long fought war.

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