Your hill is a fortress
of brambles and cliffs,
your vantage points time,
terrain, and clear air.
Enclosing the village,
a wall of flat rocks
would stumble invaders.
You must have watched
the last ones arrive:
glint off the helmets
and horse buckles, wheels
of chariots—light
jagged in history
nothing could stop.
They marched to the summit
or waited you out,
the final result
the same: slit throats,
shackles, and rape.

The red cloak of empire
smothered your tongue.
Your hearth fires, prayers,
lintel of skulls—
dust under columns
supporting new gods.
The hill didn’t hear
you suffocate.
Fires it had felt
often before.
Whips, medals, scrolls—
all history’s trappings
so much scrub.
When I climbed through brush
and stepped over the wall,
the light was stone dry.
Back to the south
hill followed hill
and behind them, the sea.