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Loaded Words

Where now those sentences, those syllables,
Loaded like cannon balls on the field of Austerlitz?
Full of the weight and confidence
And destructive power of centuries
Of thought, they were.
If thrown, in seconds they would
Rip through that sheath of wary silence
And the meeting of unsure eyes
Across the battlefield. Much depends
On the ground, the air and the preparedness,
The steadfastness of those opposite,
But also on the surety of the gunman.
Primed himself, by himself, now
Confronted with the chance
To batter down those built illusions
Of peace, the weight of those cannon ball syllables
Returns. The prospect of their release
Had lightened their load on the journey,
But merciless gravity held them now
In the barrel of his throat.
Their choking weight would leave for a moment only,
Returning inevitably with a thudding and crushing
Upon impact. They could not be delivered.
The ground was wrong, the air too quiet.
Peace would rain down weightless,
As those cannon ball syllables retreat
And tear out craters in his heart.

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