Wednesday, May 7, 2014


( Somewhere outside of Kiev)
The streets are quiet. Daylight rests

on a mattress of sandbags. A girl

looks through her apartment window

at the gray truce . The forecast indicates

no sudden change.


Rain clusters on the glass

and her red hair lends color

to some of the drops. She waves

to a woman coming up the  steps

with a bag of  groceries. The mother acknowledges


her child's greeting , the young  bloom

within a splintered frame -- and remembers

there  are still Kalyna bushes

rooted in the park;  their berries will ripen and spread.
Kalyna is the Slavic term for high cranberry bush. This tree and its fruit are a central part of  Urkranian myth and culture. They symbolize the blood of life and are associated with mystical powers/medicinal properties that heal the soul and mend the body. The Kalyna is also seen as a spiritual presence that unifies and offers immortality to those who believe in its history and magic. It is a connective and revitalizing force between the worlds of the living and the dead.

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