refuge in the night
now they had nothing
but a shirt on their backs
their clothes damp and in tatters
shoes long worn away to the soles of their feet...
it was getting dark
along train tracks, eyes down, so that they might not stumble...
the wind biting their bodies and souls
they held hands as they walked,
step after step
they tasted the salt of their tears
washed with the rain on their faces,
lips and tongues thirsting...
Gaidar the joyful one, baba had said at his birth
Gaia, his sister,
who embraced the earth,
whom ana had named when she held her infant daughter for the first time...
they now walked to somewhere
just onwards , away from what was...
baba and ana had lain in the water face down...
not moving but for the waves moving them...
someone had pulled Gaidar and Gaia out on the sand
they clung to each other, not letting go...
they were thirsty, and beyond hunger by then,
Gaidar was numb and now without anger...just numb
Gaia was sad , her heart heavy and broken, too heavy to hold
they walked, slow, ever onward with the last of their strength,
step after step...
counting their steps
the wind was fierce,
tearing into their faces.
their hand locked without feeling...
clouds racing, it was almost full moon...
someone said Christmas
somewhere a light
which opened slowly and welcomed them in...
sit by the fire, they said
warm yourself, we’ll dry your tears
we’ll wash you and feed you and give you new shoes...
though your walking is done...
you’re home now at last...
you’ve come a long way...
just comfort for you now and light
as if from afar they heard singing...
a young voice in the night
carried by the wind of the ages
that told of
a silent night
they saw the angels
they clung close to each other