in twos and fours they left the stage
preparing for their golden age
tonight they'd sleep
tomorrow weep
for a loss evolved from a maddening rage.

in sixes and eights they marched arm-in-arm
leading their way to the back of the farm
tonight they'd eat
tomorrow meet
for their headlining session of shock and alarm.

in eights and tens they crossed the stage
to devour their flesh, to earn their wage
tonight they'd crawl
tomorrow fall
for lack of ambition to turn the next page.

the children are hungry, they're burrowing in
drooling at red beneath folds of young skin
tonight they'd dine
tomorrow pine
for a yesterday gone as the bones in their shins.
for a yesterday innocent, healthy and thin.