The man’s loose boot soles flap like his heart
as he pulls his cart along the sunburned road.

He doesn’t know which side of the war he runs from
or which soldiers are planting spikes
like a dead fence across the border ahead,
whether the last border he crossed
is closed now, or lost to another army.

On the cart behind him his wrapped wife rides
holding their child’s head in her hands
in case gunfire opens the sky over the road.

Running is not hard for the man. What’s hard
is how fear sways the cart in the wrong direction
turns the road without him.

He can no longer remember who to hate
or whose name to call out for help
now that the border
spins in circles, farther and farther
from any way out of here.