Fire Test

After the painting “Escape for thy life” by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Who are these strangers
to command we leave? Right now?
You wear the embroidered robe
I’ll take the pouch.
What about food and drink
our girls’ betrothed?

Why are we rushing
from all we’ve ever wanted–
my beautiful home
the market so handy
your place at the city gate
our hope of grandsons?

Wait. I’m hot and thirsty
out of breath.
This is like those desert days
being led about
by uppity Aunt Sarai
and fanatical Uncle Abe
dusty road, heat
sweaty body, sore feet.

Where are we going?
I’ve had enough of traveling!
I refuse to take another step
turn back to everything
I own, have ever wanted, loved.

Is that smoke on the horizon?
Are those flames?
My house, my things, my dreams
all I have ever lived for!
My beloved Sod—

© 2008 by V. Nesdoly


“Fire Test” was first published in the Winter 2008-2009 edition of Time of Singing.

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