This is for BeKindRewrite’s Voice Week.
That was the day I came and got rooted here. My seed dropped from the beak of the blackbird. Nourished by the river roots pushed through the ground down then upwards came my strong shoots, I grew.
And yet I wish at times I am rootless. Just so I can go from here. I whisper these longings.
“Dear river, oh how I owe you love, and yet the very heart of me wants only to fly, like the bird.”
But the river continues to bring me life.
And day by day I grew taller.
Until one day,
maybe I would touch the sky.
If I could, I would be so grateful, oh dear river.
Voice 3: Bird’s Eye View
I watch them from here. I watch and I wait. He thought she was the tomato sauce kind of girl, but she ain’t, she’s the chili sauce kind of girl. I always knew that. It was her ginger hair. She has a sweet face, sweet. Pity. Pity he was not born for a woman.
Like how I was not born for man.
I was born to fly.
She knew, and she bid me to fly. So on that night, when the sun was bright a rare occasion I delievered him into the world and as she swallowed my body whole, she set me free.
And so now I fly, like the black bird in the blue sky, I sing in the dead of night. Bidding him to fly.
And I watch him as the river flows. I wait, for the day he surrenders himself whole.
For the river, because
He belongs to her.
Voice 2: Mountain Daisy
“Grandma, what is love?”
“Why dear, are you in love?”
“There is a boy from the next village who tells me he loves me.”
Love. It sometimes ain’t enough. I can’t tell her that. The young ones they need time to build their own ideas of love. This is how they start. With a feeling. A warm and fuzzy feeling.
“Who is this boy?”
“Oh someone I met at the school dance that night. He is Katrina’s cousin.”
“Why did you smile grandma?”
“Oh love is a beautiful thing. It makes everything look pink and pretty. But sometimes the pink it goes away.”
“Is that why grandpa went away?”
“Grandpa went away because of the blue.”
“Grandma why are you crying?”
“Because for me it is still pink and pretty.”
Voice 1: Old Man River
Oh the river is low. So low. But so is my blood, and my heart beats slow. Slow to the beat of the dying river. My river. I sit and think of the days of my youth. Days when the river was younger. We ran together, strong and hard. But I am old now. Old and frail.
It was here I was delivered to the world. And it was its hands that carried me ever so gently. Caressing me. Lapping me clean, hungrily, holding me as my mother bled on its dark soft banks.
Have I never left, you ask? I left once. For a girl. It is always a girl. But a girl I left torn, because her love was not enough for me. My river kept calling, calling to me, with each call a part of heart flew to its side. A hollow man I was without my river. And she called me heartless. I will always be alone, she told me, for the love of a river.
It was only because she did not love the river as I,
It was the river that gave me life, I believe, and so it is here by the river I shall die,
Alone here she left me to die.
The Original: The River
The old man, frail, balding, his hair thin and white. He is as old as the river he now sits beside. He stares at his reflection in the thin low river. The river sits low, for it had been a long time since it rained, and so it sits still. Afraid that any movement would perish all in its belly, and life would flow out, onto the parched dry banks. Its banks wait, patiently for rain knowing that if the skies do not open, the roots that crawl beneath will reach out further, potruding through, plunging its thirsty arms, claiming all life within the river. The bird gets stuck on the leafless tree. And then a flash of lightning cracked, a whip through the sky, the thunder rolled. The old man on the bank waits beside his river for the rain, that will now come a-pouring. Bird unstuck, Flying. And Life began again. For details and other VoiceWeek pieces go to VoiceWeek HQ