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Poetry: History

 

1050 CE

It takes ony a generation:
even the most vivid terror
is forgotten.  The children
have dreams of their own.

At night, the river is dark,
It mutters beneath its banks
in vague threat. The trees
snicker quietly with each
unsettling wind.  Our fires,
however small, alarm me --
beacons to the creeping ships.

Only the castle on the hill,
settled over us like
a broody nighthawk, sees
the coming of quiet wood, and
raises its wings for the young.

My son scoffs at  old tales.
A roaring flame, he says,
discourages predators.
To him, the fortress is
a stone weight, chained to
our land, our lives.

                He left
with a few things, in the night.
City air, he said, makes free.

I watch in dumb amazement
his little raft beneath
the branches, unarmed, drifting
down the river, toward
                       the sea.
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