Portrait of Exiles Before They Became Heroes

Easier to take an axe from the shed
& bring it to bear on the trunk  
of a young tree. Easier to tell 
the truth & not a lie, knowing 
the privilege of absolution. Easier 
to view a nation from the other 
end of a lens, or watch the country-
side go by from inside a train 
compartment in Europe. At night, 
the small companionships of fellow-
travelers; the way our kind 
stick together in the cold cities 
of the west. The way we are: alien &
infinitely suspicious, though clothed 
in top hats & coat tails, learned 
in a dozen languages, elegant 
at fencing & calligraphy.

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