Friday, December 15, 2017

The Road to Camelot

The Road to Camelot
Bobby Derie

On the road to Camelot, early one grey morn.

Past the farm of the crippled soldier.

Who had fought the Saxons at Badon.

We shared his morning beer and bread.

Spoke of Arthur.

On that other cold grey morn, years gone by.

The long thin line at the base of the hill.

The Saxon spears coming on.

A forest of stakes, moving through the mist.

A pair of shock-headed boys, at our first battle.

How it must have seemed to a bird.

To see those two lines converge. Break. Reform for the charge.

Then muddied together in the melee.

Too close now for spears.

The work of sword and seax, axe and shield.

Why were we at the base of that hill?

Why did we hobble away, like a three-legged beast, leaving the crow's feast behind us?

Arthur had broken through with the counter charge.

The spears were gone, the enemy formation confused.

The cavalry came through like a wedge.

Swift-flowing horse flesh, a hundred stones moving at a bird's pace.

Crashing through mail and plate, crushing bone and sinew.

We saw men simply burst when the horse trod on them.

They kept moving.

Chased the Saxons back, back, back and away.


Fair-haired king, a boy our age.

Barely in his beard.

He bellowed orders, and men hastened.

Til the grass at Badon's feet was stained red with blood.

We walked through that mire, unable to follow far.

The beer is gone. The sun has not broken through the mist.

Yet I must be back on my way.

On the road to Camelot.


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