How

Some soldiers in a torn field
knew one of their number
was about to be eaten
by a monstrous maw
The final lunch hour was here
and its Shadow
the simple death
(just to be swallowed up)
but then
its complicated Shadow
you must not study

They absorbed that dark bread
of the thought
of their going
its moist springiness
fear like water
in tendons
pumped them up like boys
in a game of kicking
in a field

The beast was here
It crossed over them
Its shadow painted their bodies
as flames made
their canines glow
It circled around, lowered
its horned head
unfurled a long tongue
but as it came on
they castled like a chess player
hiding one of their number
with their own bodies
a tiny being
who they felt was magic
who must be protected
at cost of all heads
its weird trunk
its speaking trunk
must be
held back
a possibly historic guest
historic ghost
for some mysterious reason
they gave their lives
for something so unknown
to itself
they thought
it might actually be innocent
it could have been
worse
than even that flying thing
dripping blood
from torn jaws
but they were soldiers
so they only had
charred choices
to hold

every good soldier
is the same one

the cowards
carve out
differences

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