Lost Ones


Come home,

lost ones.

Hear the words

of your father.

The land has long lain fallow,

and the animals have scattered,

for there are fences down

all around the fields.

Wolves have come down

from the mountains

and there are bears

foraging in the glade

where you used to play.

The pathways through the forest

you used to run and hunt

are overgrown with briar and brambles.


Come home,

lost ones.

You are needed.

Hear the voice

of your mother.

There are shadowy strangers

on the road

and though the dogs do growl,

they are old.

The woodpile is low

as winter comes,

and the garden

needs hands for autumn harvest.

Weather blows in

around the old doors and windows

that should have been repaired

long ago.


Come home,

lost ones.

Come home.

Hear the cries

of your brother

and your sister.

Their bellies stay empty,

and their minds stay full

of terrors that come

both day and night.

They ask after you,


They remember when you were here

to play with them,

to protect them,

to show them how to live

on this land.


Come home,

lost ones.

Come home.

You are needed,


more than ever.



DJR – 2023

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