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The Hordes

There were too many hordes.

I saw men despair and sit down on their helmets.

The hordes kept coming across the field.

Some men threw spears,

But most sat in groups and laughed.

The men knew something the hordes did not:

That it is futile to advance,

That advancement requires perseverance

And perseverance faith.

But I couldn't tell if the hordes had faith;

Actually it seemed as though

They were driven by a single burning eye.

The eye had plenty of faith, its kind of faith,

Was sucking up faith from every little beast

And using it to drive the hordes

Across a now corpse-strewn field.

The men ate sandwiches from plastic bags

And shook their heads in disbelief.

One of them thought about his heart

And what it meant to him

As he was crushed under dirty boots.

Reinforcements came from the North

And bifurcated the hordes' ranks

With reckless ease; only a few horses fell.

It was like night and day, how one force sat

And ate sandwiches while the other came

Galloping in from the North and won.

I watched from the audience

And did not know what I should learn from this.

I did not know what all of it meant.

One force of men seemed tired

While the other seemed lethal.

Soon the hordes deployed huge elephants

But the reinforcements dispatched them

To a clumsy doom. I watched

All this and didn't know if, perhaps,

I should root for the beautiful animals

And their brainwashed riders

Or for the flashy men and elves who,

As if by tricks of light, upended them.

The elephants swept their tusks across the troops

And tried their best to win the day

But in the end they lost their lives.

I'd rooted for men before; they'd let me down.

This time I rooted for the elephants who,

Although they lost their small-brained lives,

Persevered and gave me hope.