I stand tall as I go,

they all count on me.

For years I have trained,

many books unread.

I have agility, I have strength.

Unpleasantly, the call remains.

Oh, how I long to read again.

Along the road,

through musk and grove,

lineage of the fallen bestows me,

a broken winged sparrow to rest upon my shoulder.

Which souls have you lost, bird?

If not broken would not you lay claim to mine?

As my eyes now gaze upon the cave,

finally, the sparrow calls:

“It is true of the souls I carried,

as it is true to fight is in your name.

It is true I carry them no longer,

as it is true I gift you the freedom to choose.

The fight within that has worn you to bone,

Is no longer a soul you need bear alone.”

And as the sparrow took flight,

I respired and smiled.