Freedom So Near
by Mark Fleisher

The Kingsnake its black skin
speckled by patches of white
slithers away as a dozen or so
poor but proud migrants
seeking to be free from
the violence of their homeland
precious water very low
inside muddied canteens
their arduous trek almost ended
their quest almost in sight
as they near the border
Ahead not the serenity
of a grassy meadow;
here a dry and barren ground
bare of even a single tree
upon an open landscape
where newly arrived travelers
heed the call of danger


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