Through the march of decades, they stood there – a row of six concrete soldiers, ramrod-straight, five oval lamps on each head. Rain and sun and earthquakes they braved through. And watched did they, mutely and never judgmental, the changing of the guards.
They had been leaned on and pissed on. And hugged, and counted on from one to ten, and slapped Saved! by kids playing tagu-taguan during moonlit nights. They had been roped and built-around by tents of foods and goods in countless Januaries and Mays.
Until one day – one had an accident, one other had crumpled in old age, and the rest of the four had looked on in weather-beaten dismay.
June of 2008, the six soldiers were given an engineering make-over.
Replaced they were not. They were reconstructed, refurbished, painted-over, and attached with glow-globes for lamps.
Don’t you fret, my dear. Peeping through the gray-and-white glaze, the six familiar soldiers are still all there.