The savage tiny wars
have brought you at last to this one
where you are facing your enemy
over middle ground
you both disdain.
You still need to fight it even though so many
who say they’re on your side
are trying to claim there’s nothing at stake
that a willingness to meet out there
in the line of fire couldn’t salvage.
That’s quite enough, thank you,
you tell them. You’ve seen
how soaked the middle ground is
with the blood of those who listened
to such nonsense, and you know,
as they do not, that most of the
the iron-red soil in the middle ground
is permanently muddied
with generations of good intentions
that were slain by bad ones.
Maybe some day the middle ground
will be arable, even fertile, but for now
you put aside any thought of plow
and seed. That will come later.
You raise your weapon. For now, anyway,
this is how you hope.