Horse Led to Slaughter

To vote down the enemy, we charged into heavy artillery fire.
Minimizing casualties, our number-one priority. Exposure
greater than ever before, even after our ports and our borders
were secured against acts of terrorism, against foreign incursions.

Trying to understand, after all these years, why search-and-rescue
teams always had to fight their way uphill and across treacherous
moats just to win hearts and minds that were not disposed to
being won. Enemy cameras watched our advance from the top

of the walls, behind the gleaming coils of razor wire, unable
to distinguish our regular troops from flesh-and-blood human
beings. The arrest of suspected fifth-columnists cheered us
for the moment, and we fought our way upward and onward,

across the pyroclastic flow, ground so hot our boots would melt,
thirty-four barefoot runners from the Seychelles, the last to fall.