Spring rain hangs thick in the air,
Gray clouds blanket the torn earth,
Ruts cut through the muddy roads.
The green grass rises from the ground,
Struggling against the cold and blood,
A hope of new life emerging from death.
He rides silently on his sturdy Traveler,
Tired eyes set in a weathered expression,
Back straight with honor, dignity, and poise.
Would he be forgiven for his decision?
Would he be received with open arms again?
Would he retain the qualities he held so dear?
A quaint speck of civilization amidst war,
White washed buildings and neat fences,
Glass windows that catch the rising sun.
He parts the sea of blue as a gray ghost,
Feeling the weight of a million watching eyes,
His aged heart pounding with anxiety.
Dismounted in the lion's den he walks,
Each step towards his fate a great weight,
Stairs lead to his appointment with destiny.
In the court of his enemy he quietly waits,
His best uniform a spectacle of finery,
Next to dirty frocks and puffing cigars.
Polite words are exchanged and stress wains,
Old acquaintances and friends greet him,
And enemies are fond brothers once again.
The moment passes and the weight returns,
Pen to paper he submits to their mercy,
His cause and way of life now in their hands.
It is finished and there is no turning back,
What has he done and what will happen?
Can he bear to face them one last time?
He departs from the graveside service,
Leaving behind his home and fortunes,
Hoping for leniency and honor above victory.
The ride back now longer than the first,
His shoulders breaking under the weight,
His eyes blinking away the tears of loss.
For their lives and homes he fought,
For their futures he surrendered,
For a peaceful tomorrow he prayed.
What awaited him but pride and love!
An army lost to its affection for him,
Cheering his name in the face of defeat.
Their happiness was all he ever wanted.