The ambush was sprung as dawn.
Emerging full sure, yet warily at first,
they crept to the fore,
éclaireurs, robed in grey,
imperceptibly lighter in shade,
cast off their cloaks and emerged
naked and ready for the fray.
Giddy with delight in a sudden onslaught,
they struck down the aisles,
silently, with no hooves of thunder,
no song of the sword on cuirass,
inexorable as the shades were rent
all at once, and insatiable.
Cowed and beaten, thwarted and spent,
what slaughter took place here;
was it victory or annihilation?
The vanquished seemed to shimmer
briefly, in that moment of death
before vanishing as suddenly
as it arrived
-- the scintillating light of a new age dawn.
Exposed, the brittle bracken underfoot,
the fatally pierced canopy,
silk threads, incandescent in the air,
tethering the sky to the woods,
holding great swathes of pines in their place,
in the woods of Millbrook Warren.