In the hard, unwavering mountain
light, black flags huddle at the foot of the mountain.
Hours are days & nights, a ragged map
of hungry faces trapped on the mountain.
But silence swears help is on its way,
formations rolling toward the mountain.
Blood of the sacred yew & stud goat
beg repose midpoint of the mountain
& prayers rise in August’s predawn gruff.
Artillery halts at the foot of the mountain.
Help is on its way, but don’t question
the music burning toward the mountain.
Infidels size up their easy targets, flying
skull & bone as villainy scales the mountain.
It could be a beautiful day but black flags
throng around the base of the mountain.
The red-wing kite has come to pinpoint
a medieval hour, circling the mountain.
Men & women change into garments of rebirth
lost in the double shadow of the mountain,
& a ghost of gunmetal drones overhead
& slowly turns, translating the mountain,
then stops midair, before drumming down
the black flags at the foot of the mountain.
Poem copyright 2018 by Yusef Komunyakaa. All rights reserved.
See more poems from Yusef Komunyakaa debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle:
The Last Bohemian of Avenue A (Excerpt)