December 1944 the allies closed in on Tokyo’s POW Camp 553. The guards awaited orders from the Imperial commanders to enact the kill-all decree. Within minutes, the moment the POWs feared arrived, the rule enacted. The guards lined up the prisoners and marched them to their graves.
With heads held high, each man stood fast at the center of the camp as the guards pummeled their skulls with the butt of their rifles and lacerated their ribs with their bayonets. And yet not one man swayed. As blood streamed from their veins, in their last act of resistance, they refused to offer any sign of fear to these butchers of Tokyo; the men prepared to leave this world with dignity, and not the cowards the guards provoked them to be.
Forced to their knees, necks extended, the executioners raised their swords. The blades sliced through the air as a bone-chilling crack echoed throughout the camp. One by one the executioners plummeted to the ground.
Sniper fire from a thousand yards rained victory that day. The allies have arrived, saving each man from the sword of their torturers.
Tokyo’s POW Camp 553 by K. Saitta © 2017, A Walk In Verse