Dangerous companions

A child finds himself wandering alone
In a forest, seeing a campfire and, drawn to it,

Finds dangerous companions, thinks,
What is it I am afraid they will take from me?

Not the place of my birth, or of my rearing,
Or the place from which my ancestors sought refuge

Not the things I’ve inherited –
Blue eyes, brown hair, big feet and a guilty conscience –

Or the illusion of permanence that is itself
The only permanent thing I know.

My life? Such a fragile thread!