On Destruction’s Lips

By Annette Marie Hyder

Spare scenery scratched against the backdrop sky,
a chorus of raindrops sings in the theater of night.

A regiment of soldiers rattles by hoisting high their banner,
their flag, the canvas upon which they paint their dreams.

I watch them with my smith’s eyes, listen with my poet’s ears,
tiny tin roofs each, to catch every rattle of the rain to know

the silence that echos behind their rousing drumbeat and refrain
and I know that they are ghosts.

Even those who have not yet to die are here as phantoms
of their former selves — muted sighs exhaled against the machinery of war,

the everlasting titanium plated clockwork held — in the the giant palm
of Destruction herself (senseless with the wine of war upon her lips).