He looked so sad in photographs;
He looked so scared, so lost, confused,
and yet he laughed.
That tentative half-smile, those distant eyes,
portray a struggle, wounds, and damage.
He feels so isolated
unique in his own strife.
Enduring torment, mindlessness, violence,
seeking to relinquish all that is good.
And yet we stand behind him
unwavering in our place.
For in his own personal Hell,
the fire burns, vivacious in his eyes.
I know he will not perish,
is not to be defeated.
He will emerge victorious
from this vicious, drawn-out duel.
I may have failed him once,
then twice, thrice, four times.
I will not fail him again.
For it is not over,
his vindication will come.
As he's still up and fighting,
holding on to hope.
His faithful battalion remains beside him,