The Migrants

He hid the fire in a tall hollow stalk of fennel,
out of the sight of the great one who delights in thunder.

—Hesiod, Works and Days

 

In those mountains he met others walking in the same direction. Backpacks, black
plastic garbage bags, food sacks, a girl with two hard-boiled eggs, the shells
flaking off. Some wore t-shirts from the sports teams of the West, and one man
still carried an orange life jacket. The hunted, wayward god stood beside a mother
who held her infant before her the same way he held the stalk that carried the
embers he had stolen. He noted dry myrtle along the side of the road, and saw a
ground that seemed soft enough for them to sleep on. There would be at least this
much tonight, twigs for a fire, perhaps water for tea, some warmth in the morning.

 

 

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