On the River

On the River

Winter let her skate on the river,
the ice thick and hard, shiny as a ballroom floor.
A maze of lines she cut with her deer bone blades.
Looking down, as she spun and turned,
she knew in the black shadows in the still, icy water
dwelt the monster her mother told her was not there.
If she went to the city, she would win a contest,
her mother told her, she skated so well.
She smiled, ran from the kitchen,
always laughed at the dreams of her mother.

Summer let her sail her boat on the river.
On the far shore, she could moor,
to speak with the woodcutter’s son.
Like all others, her sisters and brothers,
her eyes and her hair were dark,
so she wondered as she watched him
chop logs for his father
why his hair was gold,
like the ring her mother wore on her finger,
his eyes blue as the sky in high summer,
and he smiled and told her
that he was found as a child on a mountain,
wrapped in a brown blanket, by his mother and father,
who took him down to their home
and brought him up as their own.
She smiled at his tale,
and wondered where the wind would carry him,
and she knew that when she grew up,
and spring lay on the river, she would marry him.


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