A 3×5 snap, black-and-white, fading, falls
from the pages. Summer ’68, Cuckmere Haven
snatched with a child’s Instamatic:
blurry, askew –
tilted skyward mid-skirmish from a grassed-over
trench carved into the Downs.
grinning urchins gangly in shorts – Bell, Lomax,
Leeper – hamming it up as prisoner and Jerries,
a penknife’s glint at the throat of a boy whose name
now is lost.
Rat-runs dug barely twenty years
earlier, when men barely twenty scanned the Channel,
were summoned.
To us, not even a memory –
just an opportune lair as the drift of barbecued meat,
faint shrieks of comrades, hung in the breeze.
One more little posse, schooling itself. Down in
its foxhole, roused by the instinct of tribal and savage.