That Which Is Always Tensed for Conflict

My whole life I've been told: battle
against the odds is a worthy thing;
sorrow can be whittled down
to a point as sharp and resilient 
as steel. Tribulation is a hard
teacher. Correction: warlord.
Prodding and pushing, 
pointing out the distance
yet to be covered on foot
until one crests the dunes
to come face-to-face with
the next enemy. All my life
I've been given the same 
banner to carry, embroidered 
with the words weather and 
overcome. Its colors are
chameleon. Its weight, 
dependent on how long
one holds the lance of one's
breath. All my life 
I've been told my name 
means glorious warrior. 
Its spirit is restless, or 
is some kind of comet burning 
a hole through the atmosphere, 
delivering its carillon. Soldier,
solder: just one strike away  
from beautiful, fated carbon.

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