The ground dispensed a tan plastic army man outside in the back yard by the garage, a radio operator, after it rained for two solid days, a hard rain that dug into the ground as it pelted down. This caused things to surface, a roofing nail, a gutter spike, a toy soldier lying facedown.
I knew that things often come up from below the surface in pairs and sure enough, around the corner of the garage I found another toy soldier, a green army man wielding a BAR, also lying facedown, washed up from the deep by the deluge. These tiny toys clinging to the earth were the product of my middle son's playing in the yard with his bag of plastic army men and his leaving a few behind when the battle concluded.
Twenty years had passed since the sounds of the backyard battle faded away, the last ten years in deafening silence from all three little boys, now grown men living somewhere, perhaps with little boys of their own playing in backyards with little green army men, the divorce you know. It makes me so sad to encounter such sudden, crushing remembrances of a past so long dead and so resoundingly buried, ripped out of the earth by elemental forces.
The two plastic soldiers are washed and dried now, and reverentially placed upon upon a shelf in a little boy's room. A cry from the past given up to an adult long past crying about his unremitting loss.