As He Prepares to Joust

On this day years ago he stepped on the stage, armor burnished and gleaming, veins coursing with power.

He felt immortal with youth, he did not feel the weight of the armor.

He crushed his opponent, and threw off his horse.  He remembers the crowd gasping at his strength, it is all seared into his brain.

For years afterwards, he has returned to this moment.  Every day he reassures himself that he is still the people’s champion.

He looks at the younger knights with a critical eye, judging that their strength is lacking, that they are slow or small.  Any battles he has had with them are in his mind, pitting his former self against them.

In so remembering, he has forgotten time.  They still cheer his name, remembering him as the knight of old.

No one knows how much time has worn the sinews of his muscles, how it has made him bent and flaccid, with slight aches in his feet and knees in the morning.

See them cheer him on, as he enters the joust, about to ride to his death.