But the numbers indicated
Only a victim,
One whose eyes burned
Like hot coals:
The speculum of fire.

The human mirror dancing
an Eastern jig,
One whose destiny sung
Like a Spring robin:
One later being consumed.

The bones rattle in the closet.
White flakes all on scorched earth.
The khamsin combs the cool air,
Its electric heat drying it.
Summer is dead and Winter’s near.
Bodies are buried only to reappear.

The survivors will be coming home.

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Copyright 1998 by Philip Hyams. Send comments to