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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

Choosers of the Slain

Wagner got it wrong, you know.
There are no winged horses,
no gleaming breast plates
no long blonde braids flying
over a pristine battlefield.

The Valkyrie doesn’t gleam
Sticky carbon residue
from years of burnt jet fuel
paints her metal raven dark.
Red dyed hydraulic fluid
pumps through her veins
instead of oxygen enriched blood.
Though, truth be told, her cabin has been washed in both.

This dual bladed, semi-rigid, underslung raven
slows. Her circling wings beat the air staccato.
She and her crew of wolves,
have followed the concussive silences,
the stench of fear and sulfur,
here.
To where men lie in ragged pieces
or crumpled around themselves
their body fluids leaking onto the ground.

Even during the battle’s rage
through the smoke
and the bullets pinging on her fuselage
the raven and her wolves choose:
slain, unslain.

The Valkyrie lifts the ones she’s chosen
and carries them to her hall of healing,
guarded by her wolves from further harm
until next time.

How can you tell blood from hydraulic fluid?
Blood dries tacky.
Hydraulic fluid makes you slip.

© 2007 by Kacey Grannis

Image: As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

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