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  You are @ HomeAdults Poetry


Source: Adults

Author: Ann Marie Saarelainen-Simard

Title: River town rhapsody

I come from a river town rhapsodizing endlessly in its borderline condition of Carelians

Crying laughing Carelians who settled here and never again had a home to their names with all that was lost - the memories

Names of places changed disturbed destructed houses for the brave who ever returned

and covered their eyes

Who won the war and lost the war and then gained just optimism

Enough for us isn't it
We must say so
Granma says I'm living day to day, it is not that bad
She has been saying that since the exodus, exile
To the river town
Close enough to border to state "Never forget"

That war that winter

Helsinki fuming and blazing in ruins
when aunt Karin went shopping for a new chic hat

It is all there in the war diary I carry in my bag
it reads in treacherous golden letters 1941
The year she lost all the men she ever knew
and would know that way

She went to war front kitchen
and left the Hermes scarf behind
like one goes to monastery
To return but years after
Unmarried forever

The men they would sometimes talk about it

Granpa used his cane to mime a firearm
a few days before his death when we went for a walk at the hospital
It was the only thing the last thing on his mind
last forlorn words fired with a cane

The bluest eyes


Just the imprint of them in my son's eyes every bit the Finn who has never seen the river town
just its language hangs on his tongue like a strange souvenir
After all he never hears it
Just caches in the wind
The fathers' whispers
blown by the rambling Atlantic wind

The fathers
during the exile with no exact place
He became a flyer, a pilot
to keep it all below him at distance

His father was at war when granma took the train
all her nineteen years and pregnant of a child, a loss, the slow growing souvenirs

And it still haunts us even when they keep silent
or simply are silent forever in banal graves
There are no heroes in Carelia

Just those who lost it all

And it was not the sky cut in half by the lightning knife my grandpas saw

it was their minds

They did not lose them but some of them never came back to their selves in the river town
They just brought their bodies, some alive

And the women wept like we do and went on to rhapsodize
Near the rapids of Imatra
River town
Borderline still up

By the strenght of the writings the songs
That one war diary that did not die
River town of souvenirs of the "occupied territories"
The word remains
Running through the river in a murmur chain of voices

We did not give in

We don't know who we are but somehow our
language keeps it all together, we are

We cut our losses, but just in half divided as we are
between there and here
A frontier state of mind
Kept alive by the sound of our own voices

Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Poetry

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