LATE BLOOMS: Are Heroes History?

Full of life
we were then
when the shadows
came creeping

and the fearsome darkness
held the land in its clutches,
preying on the helpless,
trampling on the voiceless.

Though ‘twas foolish we were told,
young and bold we did what we could,
did what we thought we should,
resisted the darkness with resolve

and the darkness we drove away
maybe not exactly the way we thought should be
but, anyway, somehow we drove it away
and once more we all breathed free.

It was a heavy price we paid –
young lives lost, some disappeared,
others pain and prison suffered,
yet through it all we persevered.

And we who survived the night
the brightness deeply appreciate
(though knowing it is imperfect),
remembering the heroes and martyrs
alongside whom we fought the fight.

Now with the finish line for us drawing nearer,
we still care and do what little we can share
to make the brightness spread further and brighter
that none shall again live voiceless and in fear.

But what is this we are now hearing?
Rumblings of the shadows again unleashing?
With many their shoulders just shrugging
and some even seemingly pleased and smiling?

Oh, gods of history, such painful irony!
Unfortunate indeed our generation would be
that in our youth fought to drive a darkness away
only in our twilight the creeping shadows again to see.

Please, do not let it be
that the light shall again die away
and the heroes of our generation be
mere stories in our failing memory.

17 April 2017

(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.)