The Victor

The white marble is smeared with fresh blood
My eyes behold in horror the carcasses littering the chamber,
Their limbs hacked and mutilated, their wounds dripping a wet scarlet.
Men, women, and children, glazed eyes frozen wide in eternal terror,
Mouths open in a silent scream.

The buzzing of flies greets my ears as I pace about the corpses.
One groans inhumanly where he lies face-down in his own life-blood.

A vast dining table adorns the room, but no one feasts.
No-one, that is, but Death.
Behind the table I see a man kneeling with his head in his hands,
Surrounded by more bodies.
He seems to be weeping; yes, he lives.

A bloody glint of metal strikes my eye.
At his feet lies a discarded blade of steel, now covered with blood.
The man, his face hidden in his hands continues to tremble and sob.
I notice his hands too are stained with blood.

"What manner of man are you?" I shout at him. "Answer me!"
"I am the victor," says he, his voice choked with tears.
"See my victory!"
He lifts his eyes and I see with horror that they are my own.

George Chadderdon © 1991