Rivers

Universal rivers,
Amur, the father, and Volga, the mother,
connect the shamans of the forest
with the Dukhobori, fighters for the spirit,
and with the Old Believers exiled to Siberia
in the seventeenth century,
and with the energetic entrepreneurs,
as common as sparrows and pigeons,
of Vladivostok and Moscow today.

Sparrows and pigeons are universal,
and startle into flurries of wings,
and feathers and dust motes
in squares, in towns, along the edges of the rivers.

Railway tracks are universal,
lifelines that follow the river valleys and river edges,
even in the deep winter
when the deeply rooted old beliefs
take on added life and build into a crazy realism
that dissipates with the light of spring
and the absence of birds.

© Sandra Renew 2013

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