They are laughing in the sand,
their high-pitched voices crossing over and under each other and up
into the sky
into the clouds
dirty hands reaching for each other,
singing songs whose words we cannot recognize
but the tune is universal;
nursery rhymes are all the same.
They are smaller than the dogs who bark behind them
they are larger than the biggest men who wake up in the morning
ready for the hunt
they are oblivious to war
because war is all they know.
In the dark, their voices quiet
they are every child alive
they are sewer rats, princesses
trailer trash and debutantes
reaching for the shore
they are holding hands and dancing,
singing in the light
while the righteous and the holy scream in outrage:
Kill the children.