Bob Dornberg © 2003
We Are Refugees
In groups of two or three, we steal through breaches in the mountains.
In throngs, we shamble over trance-inducing sands.
We left our city to the interlopers, with their new weaponry.
We left our village to feral cats and the few dying elders.
We carry dry foodstuffs in woven cloths, and motionless infants.
The Holy Book we left behind, with our intricate carpets.
By this walking we know we live. Do our bowed heads still venerate?
We cannot say; nor do we speak of bleeding or any particular lack.
A little water may flow out of rock; we chance upon a small oasis.
To extinguish a morning’s thirst, to move on: it is enough.
There is nothing to want anymore, nothing to expect.
Nevertheless, a child is delivered, ululating in the reeds.
At night, when you fly over, count the holy prayer beads of our fires.
By day, with your instruments, note the many colors of our robes.
We hear from all directions sounds of strafing and detonation.
Is there no place left where we came from, then? None where we are going?
Kate Bernadette Benedict
Copyright © 2003
Kate Bernadette Benedict's publication credits include print journals such as Slant, Rhino, ELF, Thema, and The American Voice, and online journals such as The Cortland Review and Perihelion. Her chapbook Carnal Beauty is published online by The New Formalist. Kate lives in New York City where she has worked in book publishing and finance.
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