by Jayne Martin
Our proper clothes lie under a pile of leaves in the conclave at the foot of a tall pine, abandoned along with every other stitch in the thread connecting us with our past.
We pull on the trousers, shirts and boots of field hands hidden there days before, tug caps low over our eyes, covering our newly-shorn heads, just two more boys among the many who walked these roads anonymously from town to town.
“Brothers,” we will tell anyone who asks as we make our way far from the families who would keep us apart, and later “sisters,” orphaned, alone… spinsters in years to come.
We rub dark, damp soil on our faces to hide our smooth cheeks. Only our hands betray us; soft and white, unmarked by the labor we now seek to survive. I take hold of her fingertips, bring them to my lips, then silently we step forth into the unknown.
Jayne Martin’s work has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Blink Ink, a Literary Orphans , Flash Frontier, F(r)iction, and Hippocampus, among others. She is the author of “Suitable for Giving: A Collection of Wit with a Side of Wry.” Find her at injaynesworld.blogspot.com and on Twitter @Jayne_Martin.
*Featured Photography courtesy of contributor Brian Michael Barbeito*