From a mountainside cave

Her screams could be heard,

Before they descended

To wash in the brook.

His eyes

Opened now for the first time.

And for first suffering’s sake

The infant received this blessing,

That before any other thing in his world

He saw this woman.

And she would call him


The country was wild

And dense with an overgrowth

That could not be passed

By Eulon and his mother.

And this being so,

Mother carved a life for both of them in the steppe.

With her two hands, she built

A new life.

As difficult a life as it was good.

Eulon knew only his mother

And the gentle beasts of the steppe.

He sang to them.

The mountains and the acres of fields were his home.

The clouds, hanging low

Always low,

Were the gods, and the light of his world.

In modesty,

Eulon became a young man,

And had not learned the way

A humble soul ought to survive.

By the example of his mother,

Eulon knew to take little

Of the bounty of the land surrounding them.

Eating only what he needed,

Burying his messes

Far from any others.

Speaking only in prayer, or song.

Delighting in the nightly show

Of stars.

He was naturally mild.

Because he was growing older,

Eulon knew that he would be strong enough

To lead his mother

Through the wilderness by now.

And she had begged that he not go

Refusing, herself, to revisit the country

She had once known.

Wanting to keep his mother’s peace of mind

Eulon waitied for two days

Before slinking off

Under the clouded moonlight,

Into the jungle

And away from the steppe

And the mountains.

And his mother.

Becoming lost very quickly,

The pounding of regret

Against his skull

Was more than he was ready for.

And for days

Wandered toward someplace he didn’t know,

In a direction that kept shifting.

With each step,

Eulon found himself

Crossing a dirt road.

And following that road

Until the Sun went down again,


A town became clear,

Before his grateful eyes.

And never having seen a town,

And only remembering his mother had said

She had once lived in a town

Of people, and families, and food,

Eulon rushed to see

What wonders could be hidden there.

Captured. Gagged.

Beaten. Dragged.

To the center of the town

Beneath heavy, calloused feet.

As in the steppe,

Here there were beasts,

But they were dressed with the furs

Of other beasts.

And with none of his mother’s modesty.

Bare, heaving chests

And booming voices

Shouting sounds that Eulon himself

Could not comprehend.

After some time

He found himself

Alone, in a dark, silent, tight space.

It sounded wooden.

The last chunk of bread he was given,

Finally gone.

And patiently,

Eulon sat.

For days,

Eulon sat.

Days kept crawling by.

Ten weeks had passed.

The town, in this time, had been sacked.

And had fallen again

Into the hands of yet another tribe.

As it had been when Eulon’s mother

First escaped to the mountains

Many years ago,

And many times had it been

Sacked since.

And settling in to the village

The newcomers’ children

Had been exploring the

Vestiges of the town.

And discovered a cellar

Sealed, and solidly shut.

From behind which, a strange humming

Could be heard.

And in their mischievous curiosity

They managed to knock the door down,

Scrambling in to see what was there.

When they saw him, their screams

Shook frightened birds

From the treetops outside.

The children had left so quickly

They hadn’t noticed

They were followed

By the living Eulon.

Singing his childhood song

In a weakened voice

But still as sweet,

He sang.

He had survived the

Death sentence

And had been surviving

By the bits of bread

Left in his teeth.

Taking only what he needed.

He had survived.

For two months.

In modesty.

And again setting foot into the wilderness.

Heading to the steppe

Alongside the mountain

Beside his mother.

With more than he needed.

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