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The storm blew in like the monsoons he had known as a child
The water drops warm, the winds wild and unruly
The young tattooed "soldiers" who had never truly seen war
Came to carry Rijorl and his belongings from his high tree house
Deep into the rainforest, away from his beloved ocean

Everyone huddled together on the rainforest floor
Children chattering excitedly, grownups worried, babies crying
While the water fell in ropes, filled with tatters of rainbow blossoms.
He sang a lullaby from his homeland while the eye moved through
His adopted clan nodded to the strange, "wordless" sounds

His beloved, tall home tree toppled during the storm,
The house-platform pulled down vines and three young reed-trees,
Bits of walls he'd carved with the flowers of his homeland lay scattered.
He lifted a broken pottery windchime out of the mud.
"We'll rebuild" the young man offered, but he shook his head

"I've been thinking of seeing the Empire," he offered,
For his balance was unsteady and he felt too old to live in the sky.
He patted the pouch that held his collection of counterfeit licenses
"I'll watch for the monitors while you rebuild your own homes first,
But I want to ride a steam train, and see the deserts and the mountains."

They gathered the storm-tossed bodies of lizards and squatty geese
And fried fruits and breaded blossoms for his farewell feast.
He sang once again, songs he'd learned from an Empire soldier--
They'd run together, to find a life far from the war so long ago.
Then he set out inland, trading his rainbow life for one on the road.

Author's Notes

I tried writing this part of Rijorl's story as prose, but it just wouldn't cooperate. I am left wondering if Rijorl is a poet, or if, perhaps, his people simply expect stories to be told in verse.

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