Five and Two

They came in sections
Five to the left
Two to the right
Intensely focused and young
Strictly regimented
Trailing coattails
And scattered stars
Five aside
Two in the front
Captured on Kodak film
Tucked away in memories
Left on the ground
Blood duly camouflaged
As garden music
But tea time is distant
Trapped in fatigues
And this deafening din
With five to the rear
And two taking up post
To dig a great ditch
Digging our own graves
Unbeknownst to us
Dragging the line
Shifting and squirming
Like Oedipus in utero
Unseeming fair
Locked in battle
With himself
One he could never win
We sift the hard-packed earth
Bloody knuckles flexed
Never denying pain
And they keep coming
Five giving birth to five
Alarmingly alive, advancing
The element of surprise
Two by two they shift
Surrounding us
But we blend as we must
Brown on brown
Red on red
Taking back earth and stone
Until we think no more
And we are consumed
While they drop back
Five to the left
Two to the right
And fading fast
Into the night.


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