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

            behind quietness

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.