I took him by the hand, my sense restored
and fleeing, led him to a ditch beneath
a shed’s foundation, where the dead were stored.
The opening was scarce enough to squeeze
in his emaciated state, but still
it served, best chance to slip the guard
which soon with fury searched the barren grounds.
Myself forgotten in the wake of it,
the corpse of guard instead like wolves did hunt
the murderer of their beloved chief,
who on them showered spoils at our expense.
For thirty days I brought the boy his food
and stood in watch as he relieved himself,
covering in grateful love the port
blanketing sweet Hul in shadow-dark
that, much against its inclination, saved
his ghost to later be devoured, my shame.
Wandering one evening by the gate,
I came upon a guard in drunken sleep,
his post to guard, an opening in the fence
that some unwitting animal had made.
I took the chance; I woke the boy to whom
I owed my safety, thorugh his impulse bought.
Returning there, he scrambled thorugh the hole
which scarce was large enough for bone and skin,
and thorugh which I could not escape despite
my effort-- loathe was I to wake the guard.
There in equal admiration we two stood
on either side of that partition-steel
that severed night and day, the light and dark
distinguished ends of that continuum,
and knew that this would end our mutual
protection. Then, young Hul began to speak:
I will return! I’ll find another way
for your escape! There must be something else
along the fence, another gap not watched.
I’ll find you when I have it. Stay alive.
I said I would, and waited nine more months,
in patient hope. He never did return.