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The Soldiers
Author: Francis Santaquilani

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My friends have not arrived
Or, they're here
But choose to remain silent.
They're odd in that way.
They know when the trains run,
They know the weather forcast,
They know when silence is most prized
And when the window's up.

They know I know their cue,
But play dead to tease me.
Their timing can be frightening.
They know my role.
They wander the entire valley,
But call my yard home.
If the yard is full
The house will do.

They chuckle and shoot-the-breeze
And leave the weighty questions to me:
How many volleys of disembodied souls did it
Take to fill the belly of a valley this size?
Why are you still around? What are you? I
Think they've arrived. Probably still amused
By the agonized expressions of the marathoners
Finishing the big Memorial Day race, or
How serious the reenactors are.

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