The Starving Time, Jamestown, 1610*
Only the moon saw him lick
Only the candle twisting on its wick
Nothing could cure his hunger.
He bundled the fetus in deerskin,
With only flames as witnesses
And asked the fire's ash: How else
*Some of the first settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, resorted to cannibalism during what became known as The Starving Time. This incident is based on an account given by a settler George Percy in his brief history: A True Relation of the proceedings and occurrents of moment which have hap'ned in Virginia from the time Sir Thomas Gates was shipwrack'd upon the Bermudes, anno 1609, until my departure out of the country, which was anno Domini 1612.