The Flag of Surrender

The War Within

Anthony O'Dugan
Published in
May 26, 2024


Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I fought the war and won
when I surrendered to myself.
So trained, was I, to only spy
the white flag waved by the enemy,
never thinking, I alone, could bear it.
How many versions of self
did I lose in this war, will I ever know?
For whose scars are whose, in the end,
when winning and losing are one?
Do you remember, when you were a virgin,
how clean you would always get?
There’s a darkness to war, to the things
we want to forget before regret,
we remember strange times with different faces.
The only birth in this cycle of death
is the new self, skin shed, standing
against any background, always looking down
to see if we’re holding the flag.

— agod