Sunday, July 13, 2014

"The Rio Grande"

image found HERE
The Rio Grande

The river
no longer sings
restless with Apache war cries,
but hums memories
now and again
as tears
flood her banks
beneath slivered moon,
resurrects many a battle,
many a struggle
with ghosts of then
and now.
Faithful streams
swell her bosom -
the pleasure of some,
misfortune of others.
To navigate her
is to know her.
Few do.
And yet she nourishes,
whether Mexican
or American;
cradles the dead,
offers hope, life, freedom
when and if she can.

by Margaret Bednar, July 13, 2014

This is in response and linked to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads -Sunday Mini-Challenge: Claribel Alegria ".   She is a poet whose poetry's themes are often political and social - a voice for those who don't have a voice (lost or denied) in political struggles.

I used a few lines from her poem "The Rivers" - specifically "the rivers no longer sing" and "cradle the dead".  My thoughts were on the current political crisis with the thousands of children crossing over into the U.S.A. from Mexico.  No matter what political views one holds, one must have empathy for these children being sent… and can really only try to imagine the desperation a mother & father must feel in order to do something like this.

HERE is a blog that has translated some of her poems.  "The River" can be found on the "IGWRT's" link.


Hannah said...

I love the way you employed her lines, Margaret and how the shape of your poem echos hers as well...a befitting response beautifully expressed!

Grace said...

I admire how you personalize the River with your own images - Apache war cries, nourishing of those who crossed her whether Mexican or American, offering hope and new life ~ Beautiful response Margaret ~

Thanks for participating for Sunday's Challenge and wishing you happy weekend ~

TexWisGirl said...


Arushi Ahuja said...

Margaret a beautiful poem and "tears flood her banks" is so beautiful in so many ways...

Susan said...

"Faithful streams
swell her bosom -
the pleasure of some,
misfortune of others."

I've crossed that river at Big Bend.
I can bring myself back in memory and know the truth of what you say. I think this poem meanders like the river itself and echoes Alegria's style.

Karen S. said...

You have set a most perfect river tale. A peaceful piece.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love that the river hums heart aches for the children, whose lives are hard on either side of that river.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have read recently of these immigration troubles along the border of USA and Mexico and immediately thought of that context as I began to read your poem. You point out the significance of the river - ever-present and witness to the history of the ebb and flow of humankind and the boundaries we forge between ourselves.

R.K. Garon said...

Excellent piece!

Lisa Gordon said...

This is wonderful, Margaret!

Mama Zen said...

Really beautifully done, Margaret.

Magaly Guerrero said...

It's sad to see the adults who lose their lives while risking it all for one chance at a better life. But you right, thinking about children who the same (or are pushed to make the same trip) is horrifying. Particularly considering what they might find if the river doesn't carry the dreams away...

Anonymous said...

They're children. How can there be a "side"? Powerful pen, Margaret. ~

Helen said...

You combined the story of the Rio Grande with the horror of children shipped to a no-man's land ~~ beautifully. Not a simple task, nor for the feint of heart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret! Your poem brings up the aptness of the river's name which has a grandeur as well as large width and your poem seems to roll and unwind too. I think many of the children are from Honduras where they are fleeing real violence not simply poverty. It's just awful. Take care. K.

Gillena Cox said...

enjoyed your response to the River, mine is in response to her Rain; i posted today

much love...

hedgewitch said...

I spent some time many years ago camping along the Rio Grande, in Big Bend--a magical (and frightening at times) place, one where tome seems suspended and that lives by its own rules. Your poem underscores the imaginary nature of boundaries--not a line or a river, but a difference in condition and potential, a mental as well as physical boundary that is life-changing to cross. We share this continent with and have indisputable ties to our southern neighbors, of history and generations of physical interaction, and in many ways, the drug culture that is destroying them is one we enable with our insatiable demand. A thoughtful and also a beautiful poem, Margaret.