Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Twenty-third Contest :: Second Place Winner


RIVER

by Alys Caviness-Gober
The force that endured,
that raged,
that cut through
and created
the Grand Canyon
is hard to visualize.

Her eyes were a river’s ribbon
of steely blue
raging
as if cutting through
five hundred years
of brown-eyed Turkish domination,
somehow enduring
to flow into my veins.

“Luba” --
the Macedonian word
for love --
in any language:
complicated.

I loved her sweet smile,
her crocheted treasures,
Christmas cookies
like no others,
the twinkle in her eye;
yet never did she let me in,
her magic and her mystery
were her own.

Strange accent and strange beliefs;
her past distorted
and unknown to me,
her perspective
from another time and place,
my love was tinged by distance
that I could not cross;
never as close to her
as to my other grandmother,
whose sweet sad elegance
seemed more familiar.

Her complications conspired
to preserve the reserve
from which she saw the world;
it rarely cracked.
I could not see
her protective wall
for what it was;
her strength escaped me,
only later would I see it,
could I know it,
long after she was gone,
and my own steely-eyed children
chose their middle names
Luba and Alexander --
their homage
to a Macedonian past,
and her.

I can see her reserve
in their eyes;
I know now,
finally
what she saw,
understanding
what lay behind her laughter --
it had its own accent,
an echo down through time,
that mirrored the twinkle
in her ice-blue eyes --
like a river,
raging,
cutting,
like a secret flash,
enduring wisdom,
a knowing unshared
like that last never-revealed ingredient
in a recipe --
her secret,
she alone
knew the punchline.

“I survived.”


About the Author
“I am an artist and writer living in Noblesville, Indiana. As a child, I was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease. Physical limitations challenge my life in many ways, but I find myself constantly creating: art is my joyous addiction.”

Her website is here: www.CreativeExpressionsArts.com.
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