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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 1: Fearless Like Song

Myra Sklarew

Myra Sklarew
Imagine a Village
Imagine a village
with no border guards.
No boundaries.
No confusion
of tongues.
No Babel.
When water is needed
to nourish the olive trees
or the wild greens
that grow in the mountain,
your neighbor
will gladly set aside
the stone
that holds back
the mountain spring,
that clear water
may flow
to your garden.
If there is no food
for the stranger
from Aleppo
who seeks shelter
after his long journey,
you will give up your share,
for the stranger
comes first. And here
no child may go hungry.
Nor without love.
She will be raised
to thrive in this world.
To learn. To take on
the mantle of adulthood,
that she may teach
her own child.
And the village elder
will pass on the traditions
of care, and the story
of a people. He will know
the ancient litany
and sing it as he walks up
the mountain each morning,
his hands knotted behind his back.
Myra Sklarew was educated at Tufts, Johns Hopkins, and Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory. She is author of collections of poetry, essays, fiction and forthcoming, A Survivor Named Trauma from SUNY Press. She directed Yaddo Artists Community and taught at American University She serves on the Advisory board, Furious Flower Poetry Center, James Madison University. Other books of hers include Lithuania: New & Selected Poems, Harmless, Over the Rooftops of Time (essays), and Like a Field Riddled by Ants (fiction).



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