Black Sea reflection

Europe behind, Asia beyond. Tomorrow I enter Turkey and make my drive for the Pacific. I have no expectation, no wonder at the miles ahead. I will consider them when they’ve passed.

Child in village of Podunavci as seen on bicycle tour of Serbia.

My friend in Podunavci

For now I think of Serbia, of the Podunavci ghetto where the locals adopted me for three days, feeding me, watching their babies play on my lap.

I think of the months previous, of all I’d been told and how the word gypsy had sounded falling from hateful lips.

I think of kids playing tic-tac-toe in the dirt, of the boy who sold me new socks from a torn duffel bag, of the girl with scarlet cheeks who threw a shoe at her brother but hit me on the head instead. I think of what beautiful people they were, of the neighbors who refuse to know it.

Mostly I think of one smudged little face that looked up to me as I turned to leave.

“Goot lock,” he said with my hand in his.

I can’t remember the ride to the next town. I bawled the whole way.

Frozen toes, torn skin, illness, hunger, loneliness – none of it ever budged me. I cried because of a six-year-old. I don’t understand that. Lately I feel like I don’t understand anything.

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One response to “Black Sea reflection

  1. What you are saying is very beautiful to me. I am happy for your open heart, and for sharing it with us.

    Thanks Mike, I needed to read this.

    Your friend,

    Shawn O

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