They Said

they said,
as pitiless hands tossed the tattered veil
of innocence
into the growing pile of cries,
of prayers,
it would be a waste to burn them,
they said,
the stench of decay would be a reminder,
an atrophying monument to anarchy,
the gyrations of bravado, of revolution,
bleeding into the gutter,
truth once clothed in holy vestments,
now soiled by failure,
its last hurrah
not even worth the absolution of fire,

they said.

For the word list prompt at Real Toads