Revenge is the Best Revenge
by Amilyn (AmilynH@aol.com)

Soldiers
swarmed into town
and away to battle--to the game--
like hordes of locusts.
All her life she'd seen them
taking what they needed
or wanted
Destroying as it amused them
food
or buildings
or people.
Leaving only the last crumbs
from their feast of violence and savagery
in the villages--both friend and foe--
that they passed through.

Soldiers
stopped for the night
or the week.
She had served them
borne their heavy equipment
out of their way
filled and re-filled the mugs
they gripped in their strong, meaty fists
allowed them to touch her
with those filthy hands
however they pleased.
So long as they met her master's price.
They bought her
piece by piece
one after another
night after night.
And she sometimes watched their distant eyes
while they made her an instrument
for satisfying their desires.

Soldiers
left their marks
on the faces
on the bodies
on the spirits
of her friends.
She felt the marks they left
on her
and guarded her soul, lest they
touch more than her body.


Soldiers
never changed though whole generations
fought and died
and were gathered anew.
She watched,
no longer hiding
the curl of her lips
as a century passed,
and nothing changed.
Still they went to war, leaving chaos
at the door of the enemy as well as the innocent
Still they took whatever they wished
from anyone not as strong as they.

Soldiers
marched again into town
coming from the game victorious.
She watched a golden knight at the tavern
who, like the others,
looked through her
seeing only an opportunity
to satisfy his desires.
She saw his imminently corruptible goodness
shining in the gleam of his
now-smiling eyes
and invited the young knight to follow her.
She allowed him to touch her
as he wished.

Then watched him pay her master's price.