Fading Warriors

Fading Warriors
by Joseph A. Dardard

We were warriors once,
you and I;
shar’d the same fears,
torment’d by same anxieties.

From time to time,
shar’d same
earthen shelter,
with sterile earthen walls,
ornamented with tools of mortal conflict.

Between battles, we regained our shatter’d minds
listening to each other’s narratives of
youthful interludes.

Our mem’ries etched forever
in the world’s Order of Peace Guardians,
with dues paid in sweat, blood, and tears,
burned in indelible time.

And now, with mem’ries dimmed
by passing years,
we spend brief visits
by recalling
each other’s collective walk
through life’s seasoning time tunnel.

We test our bleached recollections
by re-living brutal hardships
and shar’d cheerless victories,
now stored on history’s dusty shelves,
so far removed, so distant past.

The passing years cannot reduce us
to time-washed friends;
the spirit of warrior comradeship
hovers over us, you and I.

Fused by matchless inner blend of
trust and mutual esteem between those
who shar’d the field of mortal conflict;
the birthplace of infinite grief,
and celebrated pride.

We are the possessors, you and I,
of a warrior’s most treasured mem’ries,
and distinguished honors,
earned by endless anguish and afflictions,
untouched by time.

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