Child's Play 
At thirteen, on Wei Bein Plain 
Emperor Qin grew up 
with a passion for soldiers  
to be his,  
to be shared with no one. 
A table top army, mammothly enlarged,  
ready to march meters 
north and south,  
east and west
as far as the sun 
and then 
rest meters underground. 
Was this emperor-child an ancient dalai lama  
so inspired that his eyes saw nothing 
but sheer magnitude?   
Eight thousand warriors then, 
their horses and their chariots.   
to put in formation,   
reward them handsomely. 
They would guard him after death. 
When did anyone say stop 
and clean up for dinner? 
Put your soldiers away 
and go to bed? 
Later a thousand little kingdoms 
not yet China and a great wall 
to keep out white-faced barbarians. 
Transformed, he was now 
keeper of fly-speck millions 
that must eat, stay clothed,  
kept riot-free 
while he moved "slit-eyed"  
said his enemies 
and "relentless" with armies. 
Four hundred scholars fled 
to lie face-up in his pits.  
A warning to dissidents 
in all of China 
that wisdom was mortal. 
And what of those who dug the pits? 
Moulded the soldiers 
each with a different face? 
Were those their faces too?   
Were they grateful for their bowl of rice? 
Their eternity in a child's tomb? 

L. Fullington

If you've any comments on her poem, L. Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.