For Tim, on the Eve of Battle

audio: For Tim, on the Eve of Battle
audio of Catherine Chandler's poem, For Tim, on the Eve of Battle

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Catherine Chandler

For Tim, on the Eve of Battle


      This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
      according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
      that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.
      1 Timothy 1:18


      The rattles, caws and clicks of circling crows
      outdo the western meadowlark of late;
      flickertails in burrows hibernate
      in colonies till spring; and I suppose
      your fields are carpeted with winter snows,
      your hunting boots and Winnie 28
      cleaned and set aside. They’ll have to wait,
      like Chucky, who looks up at you, and knows.

      Yet soon the great Red River, frozen now,
      will recommence its northward course, and pink
      wild prairie roses bloom beneath the fair
      cerulean High Plains skies. Farmers will plow
      their acres once again.
                Let not your ink
      run dry, my friend. Fear not the trumpet’s blare.