Kids in camouflage sprint and stumble through smoke,

their faces smeared with blood and dirt.

It’s a burnt-out city with kids tearing into enemy lines,

no weapons,

scrabbling around in torn vests looking for

bits of paper

                       to use as shields.


The guerrillas aren’t interested in words,

don’t care how young the soldiers are,

that most couldn’t grow beards.

They pull out machetes, slice right into them,

            these boys,

leaving them

bleeding to death on the ground.


And in the background,

a diner’s broken neon sign

flashes ceaselessly.



© Sarah Crossan from Moonrise, Bloomsbury