These are the new amazons, warriors for an age when battles are fought over inches and ounces, ground held firm with a will power you cannot understand and they cannot explain.
Every day when the killing fields is the site of last resistance, their own bodies. offered up, suicide bombers all
New bones map out a skirmish won, an enemy routed, another stand made.
The scales record betrayal, defeat, the spirit is strong, but the body weakens, turns tail, offers surrender when all that is required is a tactical retreat….a re-grouping….a re-arming with weapons of mass distraction.
The enemy creeps up in the night, pitches camp, lays siege to the body.
Bared, ready for morning inspection with eyes sharper than a sergeant major and a tongue more vicious too.
Everything must be checked, double checked, you’re in this army now.
The front line moves, an inch here, an inch there, movement hides the cost, becomes just a to and fro, meaningless battle lines with no clear winner…..dug in, all over by Christmas
A war of secret attrition, where the scars are buried deep, not displayed on special days for the curious, the non-combatants, and those who fell at the first hurdle try not to stare, try not to feel a tiny frisson of envy, a sense of missing out on something big
Mummy, what did you do in the war?
There are no victory parades for these ana warriors, no wreaths of Flanders poppies, no awkward silences, praying that your phone won’t go off….not now.
But, just for a moment, I imagine them, the ranks of girls, for they are legion, arms whipcord thin, collar bones as sharp as the creases in a demob suit, knees buckle under the weight of banners, but these are the ana warriors, spartan in their stoicism, shrugging off the costs of war.
To save the village we had to destroy it.