Vast fields of ice
Pure white, blinding
Groans as she’s crushed
The miraculous trek begins.
Through war-ravaged shambles
Across homeless encampments and
Hospital wards where respirators
Gasp and saline drips;
Past ice-cliffs of struggle,
Through foreboding canyons of grief
Among the starving children and
Newly baptized saints in the cages that
Overlook the cemetery where infants join
Old men and widows, and where reckless
Teenagers sleep and young widowers wail as they
Stumble for words of explanation for sobbing children.
Trudging on over blazing deserts
Snake mounds and petroglyphs
Where cactus wrens and roadrunners worship
Under the watchful gaze of the ram
Perched confidently on enigmatic assurance.
Sailing now on lashed barges with
Cotton sails, through inky seas of chaos,
Racism and fascist hatred; seas filled with
Macropredators slicing waves that
Can swallow the most massive ship.
Onward through sorrow, pain, grief, and loss,
Indominable women, scarves pulled
Tightly about their heads, sheltering
Babes in ragged coats in groups of four
Or, are there five?
“I know that during that long and racking march, it seemed to me often that we were four, not three.” – Sir Ernest Shackleton, South
“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you.”
– T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)