So Many Battles

Dust and sweat, god, all I know is dust and sweat.

Upon the rise outside the arena the captain of the Asclepian Guard tugs at the cloth armor about him. Jealous eyes consider the frivolity of the arena, while his soul, a slave of duty, adjures his glance toward other conflict.

Steel, iron, and woven plates fall to sod as a white garment takes its place. Still, the eyes wander back to the arena.

The child at his side, hair as wild as his darting eyes, “Aw, you won’t play?”

“So many duties, some with sword and some with pen, weary my hands.”

“Weary, weary, why must you speak of weary?”

“I speak what I know.”

The boy’s eyes lit anew, “Ha ha, there you are, half way to it now!”

With a smirk the good captain, the hale and hearty doctor, casts off the pale tunic and with a heave hurls his lance into the ring.

Yet he does not follow.

“You return to your wars, don’t you…both of them,” prods the boy.

“Three. Maybe four,” he shrugs, “This will suffice for now, if only to raise my standard.”

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