The Walkers' backyard was green as emeralds, Each grassblade fire-lit in dawn-light, The smell of summer come completely into our bodies As we drank down the last of the Captain Crunch cereal, Pure pearly milk sugar-laced, gravid with sweet. A squeal of Keds against the flooring And out the banging screendoor like milk-pod seeds We floated to the line up, saluting, stiff-backed, Our ankles uneven with socks' lax elastics. Davy Walker paced up and down Before the at-attention boys, Black curls close as secrets against his skull, Oldest and always leader, Alertly at home in the winner's circle, Calm as an ancient Greek at Salamis, as lucky-- Blue eyes tucked tight as dual pilot lights Above freckles, below a pale Tyrone Power brow. We knew what was coming, once everybody was picked And an opposing general assumed command At the Costigan's swing set: Dirt bombs, forts under the picnic table, Clear cricket cries of "I'm hit!" Lobbing pine cones and counting ten, the grenade Pin sticky and sharp between tense teeth; The possessive assertion of "fire in the hole!" Laughter behind a maple tipping off an attempted ambush, Choruses of "ka-pow" and "brrrbht!" machine-gunning Across the fenced backyard filled with lines of kids, Kids clean-limbed and pale, Bright shorts and dirty Adidases, Knees scuffed with maneuvers among the leaves. I hid beneath lilacs, wet leaves for a face, A crooked dry cottonwood stick my fine rifle, A spur of knot at the trigger. The day hums bloodless blue; above, a scythe Swings an electric-arc of sky. Count to a hundred and then begin. My mind is green As marines, those two-inch plastic ones Molded hot in one go-- Stray flares finned leaflike along a seam, Auras you could touch. Auras I cut, Trimming the small soldiers clean, shaving rifle and knife, Cutting off weird ears of translucence With a Red Cross pocketknife, squinting Into the miniature Hulk faces going "Hoo-ra!" Still hiding, I could feel myself going green From fingertips to face, Invisible but alive.