The Kings Son

by Kate Demeree

As he stood upon the hill, his cloak all soaked in red,
He wondered to himself, what else he could have said.
He stood alone and silent, surrounded by his power,
To have won this battle, was to be his finest hour.
He bent his head so slowly, and dropped upon his knee,
He shields himself in sorrow, and wonders how this could be.

And now all of his power, his riches, and his gold,
They could not console him, or keep him from the cold.
For lying there upon the rocks strewn at his feet,
Crumpled, and broken…with a face that was cupid sweet,
Was the body of a child, one that he held dear,
One that he had thought to save from his father’s fear.

All the time he gloried, and fought with sword in hand…
Every step he took every grant of his demand,
Only led him onward to bigger and better ends,
Late at night as he shared a cup with his fighting friends.
The child had been there, looking out of loving eyes,
The child who had given themselves, to save him from that demise.

As he reached out with a shaking blood stained hand,
He tried to think why he’d thought his goals had been so grand.
What now was there left…what was he fighting for,
Why hadn’t he used words, instead of going to war?
For although words could hurt you and cut you to the bone
They didn’t leave your loved ones bereft and all alone

That is unless the words you use are a battle cry…
A call from king to serf to send their sons to die.
A cry that is echoed within the kings own son…
One that says I will not stop until they know I’ve won.
He’d refused what they had offered…it was the middle ground,
He wanted them on bended knee like the day that he’d been crowned.

They only wanted compromise, a way for all to live,
Never knowing compromise was what he could not give.
“It is all or nothing; I will not go half way,
All will bow before me ’err pass another day.”
If only he’d accepted the offer they had sent
His son would not lie broken, his very life force spent

A King would not be kneeling as a humble supplicant.

The humbled King, upon the hill holds his broken son,
Desperately wanting to believe, that glory he has won
It had seemed so simple when they’d made the plan,
How was it they’d forgotten that he was just a man?
He’d wanted to unite them this had been the dream,
And now they stood united, against him it would seem.

The King had led the battle a smile upon his face,
Charging to the high ground like it was a race.
The child he so cherished riding at his side,
Gazing at his fathers’ face his eyes so filled with pride.
“We will beat them sire, we will crest the hill”
Deep within his heart he heard his sons words still

“Keep up your shield and mind your back…”
The King had sternly shouted back.
It had only been a moment as he glanced away,
In that fatal instant he was made to pay.
All of his arrogance, each of his demands,
Everything he fought for lies broken in his hands.

They had offered loyalty, and agreed to share their land
From the base of the hill, to the salt seastrand.
For the hill was holy ground…set-aside for god,
And upon these paths no infidels should trod.
They would not bow before him, nor go on bended knee,
They only bowed before their God, the one he could not see.

His eyes refuse to focus as he gazes on his son
In his mind he questions “What is this I have done?”
The child had taken the arrow that was meant for him,
The King could only watch, as his child’s eyes grew dim.
In anger and frustration, feeling useless and alone
Knowing deep within his heart, he never can atone.

His anguished voice bestirs the night, crying out to god
He slams a fist upon the ground and rips away the sod
“They tell me this is your ground, perhaps it’s where you live”
“They tell me they can see you, they say that you forgive”
“Show me then your power, give me back my son.”
“I’ll then tell the world, the great things you have done.”

In anguished desperation he glares into the sky,
In his mind a single word, the all-important “Why?”

























Posted on 05/16/2003
Copyright © 2021 Kate Demeree

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