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Syllabics

by Karl Elder

There you are, another spy in the sky.
Here they are, marching for euphoria:
Hup two three four five six seven eight nine—
ten again. And this squad makes a platoon.

Perhaps you expected a whole army.
Think of these as survivors, traversing
downhill, single file, on a steep set of
switchbacks. What song can’t you hear them singing?

What dream can’t you imagine them dreaming?
Old guerillas, how should they remember
their former ranks, except to disappear
to reappear now in formation, strac.

The term "strac" is tongue-in-cheek military slang for being polished and prepared: "Skilled, Rough, and Ready Around the Clock." Half in jest, a soldier might declare about himself, his uniform starched and pressed, while standing in formation, “I’m a strac motherplucker!