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On the fifth day of our exile
one of the fathers saw a sign

a significant number of crows
said one of us was sure to die

the sun stepped out of her hoopskirt
put her crows in the oaks

like an old woman putting
mugs away that aren’t quite dry

we fell asleep wondering
who it would be come morning

the boy who had taken
his shoes off the day before

and had been carrying them
by their laces like hair

was dead of fever we buried him
like travelers shoveling dirt

onto embers and now
we have this pair of shoes

no one knows what to do with
the fathers say we should

tie them to a branch as a warning
to those who come after us

to let them know the trials
we have suffered but Hell

he came all this way in them
I’ll carry them if no one else will
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