"Lambs," William-Adolphe Bouguerau, 1897, WikiArt photo.
“Lambs,” William-Adolphe Bouguerau, 1897, WikiArt photo.

My bosom unbound, I give my heart to
Thee, my child, mother’s love and milk,
To relieve miseries of hunger and of war,
Safety in deep forest shade, for we have
Been thrust into blackness and misery,
Wheat fields and vineyards trampled,
Prayerful hands at holy mountain springs,
I ask Athena to end years of killing and
Return us to peace again.

Thus, we have taken to high pastures of
Pindus Mountains, cobble roads and
Winding paths, beyond reach of swords
And spears, horse hooves and chariot
Wheels. Ancient healing land, where blood
And bones of war have long faded. Here,
We will remain in seclusion of shepherds
And their flocks, moving herds of bronze
Bells, music soothing weary souls.

With you swaddled on my back, child, we
Must persevere, arduous uphill struggle,
Ascending to higher light, pilgrimage to
Welcoming hands, refuge and charity of
Others, our place amongst warming fires.
I have little to offer, yet much to ask, rings,
Few coins long spent for safe passage and
For food, prayers and faith in gods to sustain
us, our homes and fields one day restored.

For “moving herds of bronze bells,” see this video.
Whilst this mother’s plight occurred in Bronze-Age
Greece, t
his poem can apply to war-torn families today. 

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