The Siege Breaks

This loaf is last. The oven’s fuel is spent.
The millstone rubble, and the golden field
That grew the waving wheat sprouts tent on tent.
Grass crushed to compost by an army’s heel.

These wheels askew on broken axles lie.
Dead oxen led the dray. Now there are blood-
stained outlines of the meat coin could not buy.
The silks and spices moulder in the mud.

The royal gem is cracked. The crumpled crown
Rests on a brow serene; but mangled nose,
Crushed limbs. Cold eyes that led with bold decrees
End, buried early by the broken stone.

We hold. This shattered wall; these burning streets
Shall not be conquered while a heart still beats.