on the eve of battle
the warrior sleeps soundly
like an infant
in his mother's breast

on the morning of battle
the warrior arises
and inhales
the fragrance
in his mother's hair

on the road to battle
the warrior pauses
his heart is uplifted
by the glow
of the rising sun

in the heat of battle
the warrior dances
his mind is empty
to see each arrow
before it is launched


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(c)1995 Phil Cohen

illustrated by Patricia Ford