I see them sometimes at night
an eerie procession

I cannot go far back
trace who they were
what their lives were like
but they have left tracks.
Deep in my skull they walk

expelled peasant women
babushkas and coarse cottons
red legs rough shod

I am aware of feelings
that nothing in my experience can account for,
history a little.

Fear leads the procession
fleeing hiding
unspeakable violations
how to save the children

Moral imperatives,
No excuses for anyone,
Family as religion,
An identity passed on
for thousands of years,
Strength of will
that threatens to break the person,
Anything can happen.

their faces beyond
dissolve the long line too
flight of desperation

Robert A. Davies is the author of Timber, Moons and Mendelssohn and Bluff Hollow. His poems have appeared recently in Counterpunch, Hollywood Progressive and Windfall. Robert can be reached at Read other articles by Robert A..