POETRY: Legend

To the vow he made
not again to be captured alive
true he stayed.
And now he’s dead.

On the field of combat
breathed he his last.
His rifle held fast
breathed he his last.

Fearless and wily fighter,
symbol of a people’s anger,
seen by many as a defender
and a passionate dreamer.

By his pursuers vilified
yet, I suspect, grudgingly admired.
Their game of hunter and hunted
has now in a blaze of gunfire finally ended.

Alive, he sort of was a legend.
In death, his life becomes legend.
With admiration or vilification
his story shall be told again and again.

He now rests, to fight no more.
And we, who must carry on life’s struggle,
do hope, pray and implore
that one day soon and forevermore
legends like him would not be needed anymore.

(Eric S.B. Libre is a Mindanawon freelance development consultant who has done some work in a number of conflict-affected areas of Mindanao and occasionally dabbles in creative writing. He lives in Digos City, and is proud to be a senior citizen.)