The Soldier and the Huk

Like a crack of thunder resounded
the meeting of the soldier and the Huk—
            the final reckoning!
like a volcano, the fire within,
the gathered hate,
erupt . . .

Both prepare with the fervor
of patriotic heart and arms of steel;
        both in hot pursuit
of triumph for their cause,
armored in daring and conviction.

They penetrate the jungle, harrow the plain,
climb the mountains, ransack the far-flung fields,
                    not a sound,
shadow and smoke were left behind;
they have the lion’s will to kill or be killed.

Seventeen days were blackly buried,
seventeen nights darkness shrouded
            even the stars;
but the soldier and the “criminal” Huk,
    lay waiting for their weapons to cross.

Dusk crept in on a melancholy air,
with the wind and rain and a sky torn by lightning;
                        at last,
at the edge of the ravine in the darkness,
two bolos suddenly flashed.

Before long the storm subsided,
the moon glimpsed, as it silvered over all the debris,
                the terrifying shapes,
at the edge of the ravine,
two dying men, gasping for life.

The Huk and the soldier had met at last,
embracing each other in death;
        the moon wept . . .
for at the last moment they both knew
they were brothers who had been torn asunder.