The 10 – 2 Shift Lament

“To the field! To the field, good gentles each one!
“How will the battle betide?
“‘Twill be the best war ever held ‘neath the sun!”
And I had to work at the troll.

The armies assembled in all of their might,
Five thousand strong to a side.
Or so it was told to me later that night,
For I worked all day at the troll.

The sunlight did glisten on armor and shield,
On polearm, sword and helm,
On every brave fighter with weapon to wield.
All except me, at the troll.

Said the marshal, “Lay on!” and a great fearsome roar
Rose from every throat in the realm.
One daytripper checked in, and I prayed for more
As I waited around at the troll.

Five thousand warriors charged from the west,
Five thousand charged from the east;
Each squadron hoping to prove it’s the best.
While I idled my time at the troll.

The first fighters met with a crash and a ring
And a growl like from some vicious beast.
I can now shoot a fly with a rubber band sling.
The things you can learn at the troll!

The battle ensued with thunder and flame,
The shield walls were bolstered and tight.
Arrows and lances made dark, deadly rain.
Or so I assumed, at the troll.

The first hold was called and the first dead were cleared,
But thousands remained left to fight.
The armies grew restless as the next skirmish neared.
I only grew bored at the troll.

The combat resumed with an earth-shaking peal,
And feats that brought many their fame.
My breakfast, at least, was a leisurely meal
With all day to eat at the troll.

It raged on and on, and I heard not a word,
For all were entranced by the game.
I finished two books and started a third
As I languished away at the troll.

The battle was won, and the stories began
Of sights that were wond’rous to see
But all that I saw, I saw second hand,
For I missed every bit at the troll.

And so, good gentles, by all that you love,
Remember the troll’s misery.
I just hope my Pelican made note of
My great sacrifice at the troll.

Morgan Rowanwaif lives in the Kingdom of the Outlands.

Morgan says about this poem: "I wrote this piece for a friend of mine who complained about having missed all the excitement at an event, since he had to sit Troll. The last stanza, however, is totally my invention."