We refused to settle for the crumpled
paper heap of land we had been given,
and so set forth for ampler tracts.
Our backs, though hunched
from years of burden, were stronger
than the situation. We resolved
to march across the ravages
and leave a nation in our wake.
As there was little at stake,
this was a luxury we could afford,
and afford it we did
with our varying degrees of wealth.
We were healthy then, and possessed
of a vigor that grows from arrogance
and blossoms into soul-rending fury,
an uncompromising, all-or-nothing
mentality that sends weaker spirits
sprinting for anywhere else.
Monuments, ancient, were crushed
like seashells beneath our feet
as we beat along the withered land,
scanning with feverish gaze
for a place to lay down roots.
Our faces had grown hard
from the winds. Shards of parent culture
clung to our skin. We hung our heads
collectively as we inched further
from our point-of-origin,
closer to dejection. Each section
of our ranks seemed overwhelmed
from wandering so long,
but I held strong my belief
that we’d find oasis soon.
Some began to swoon from the heat.
Others achieved acute states of delirium.
Fate condensed our numbers,
but not our desire, our dire hope
that one day we’d be free from even destiny.

-r. miller


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