The Duel

A glove left its hand and loudly it met
Another gentleman’s shocked, available cheek ⠀
Gauntlet thrown down, it was then announced ⠀
That tomorrow would host a duel to the death⠀

The news spread fast and the gamblers all bet
On whichever man they thought less weak ⠀
One way or another, one would be trounced
Just after sunrise, would take his last breath

Each man chose a second, a solid friend
An assistant to ready his charge for the fight
To tend to the details and help steady his mind
To see to it that his pistol is clean and powder, dry

Even to dress him; for when a man meets his end ⠀
He wants to look sharp, in the new morning’s light Only one is to conquer and victory, to find
The other, in a pool of his own blood, would lie

After a night of sweaty and troubled sleep
They adorned themselves in the fine, regal trend ⠀
And adjourned on field of battle, according to plan Rules were explained and readiness, discerned

Rude remarks were exchanged, cutting deep Enraged, ready to deliver an untimely end
Each with his back to the other, once counting began,
With grave face, took his ten paces and turned

Here at last, was the decisive moment
The climax, a champion would soon overcome ⠀
Besting his adversary and winning the rights
To brag upon himself, of how he was more skilled

A contest, it was, as the gentry would later lament
When the smoke had all cleared, the crowd was numb
Each superb marksman had the other in his sights,
Two bullseye shots and both men were killed⠀

©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell

From the black book of unimaginably horrible, terrifying things, Out On The Killing Floor

Out On The Killing Floor, by Kevin Trent Boswell
Available on Amazon