These children wear the hours on their skin
lice of stars saunter on their undershirts
falcons lay their eggs in their shoes at night.
On Sundays they get dressed in two plain trees
in a small almond tree shirt,
they have a sea kerchief and air as their cap,
a forest, a high mountain and a river in their eyes
they button their coat with acorns,
with their pocket knife they slice their grief
like a loaf
they take their supper on a stone, they drink sky
and in their viscera May and December dance
hand in hand.
They had strong arms, deep voice and the stubbornness
of a mule.
They never back down.
They’re good mannered boys.
They know the meaning of struggle and of duty.
Hard headed they don’t back down from their task.
When the sundown turns their tents rosy
when the first shot of the evening star is heard
they stand with their legs apart, nailed in the rock
they tighten their fists in their pockets
and they walk uphill to the evening call
dragging their shadow behind like a tied lion.
Later, after the last meal, when the wind calms down
when the gold fish of the night slip between their legs
they stare at the electric lights of Lavrion
they stick their eyes like bullets in the magazine
of the galaxy
and walk silently to their tent.
Michalis stood by the entrance.
He stared somewhere and said:
Our people fight somewhere over there.
We didn’t say a word. We lighted the lamp.