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In Russia in March

by B. Z. Niditch

By the cedar woodland,
the foresters with wide eyes
mingle with the country secrets
of a thousand years.

More of them are here
than blazing infant stars
in the open chimerical sky
at first light.

A boy hides his camera
glistening in the sunshine
near the Don,
taking down his reverie
of imperishable words
no longer on blank sheets
with his first halo of verse
hidden in his pocket of notes
covering vistas of childhood.

He conceals his once fractured wrist,
swollen from soccer practice,
with the ringed school notebook
held in his unseen hand
in his winter gear and glove, which Aunt Manya has created
from scratch from a magazine.

Astonished by another early bird
eating out of his shadowy arm
by a river fountain
he is half-unconscious with the excitement
of his first clandestine venture
outside his bedstead dacha.
It is a graphic memory
held here in the silent snow
of a damp, white path.

He stands frozen
in his wet, pulsating tears.
No one will understand.
A domino falls out
of his pea jacket.
Spring wants to entice him
and weigh him down
to rest in the ditch water
of the now unfortified river bank.

There is no flood tide,
or splashing children
here among willow trees,
but the burdock countryside
makes even a slim body hungry
for Manya’s honey cake
by her warming wood stove.

Copyright © 2014 by B. Z. Niditch

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