Twenty plus years after he went M.I.A.
the search came to it’s conclusion.
It had been sporadic, admittedly,
more than a decade had passed since the last cursory look
beneath the pine trees at the foot of my parents’ front garden;
where last he was seen on a hazy afternoon.
The game had been simple, my brother and I
launching soldier after soldier the full length of the lawn
to see who could throw furthest, without reaching the treeline.
Our games seldom returned there after that day, despite
my ignored suggestions to lead parties of troopers
to search hostile undergrowth and rescue their comrade.
Having never forgotten, I couldn’t resist
a poke around the pine trees as a thirty two year old boy;
to find only a torso, a forearm and a foot
beneath centimeters of dirt, all their paint still intact.


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