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The Storyteller

Our grandmother whispered the old tales thick in her blood, mysterious and wild as the footprints of a fox. Her burnt sienna voice shambled in the brown bears' waltz across the steppes, crooned Baba Yaga magic. We heard songs that glinted like ice-bound wheat, frozen fire rippling, clicking in the wind. Their cold beauty melted as we walked into that brittle harvest. The spirits of catalpa and sycamore leaned toward her heart, recognizing old earth in her, traced the taproot running to rivers of stone. Behind her closed eyes she plumbed our reckless rhythms, our glass shadows dark and shining, that fragile joy we wrapped around ourselves like wings, as we sat unmoving, half-buried in the past. Moths brushed moonlight across our faces, poured like a waterfall of white petals over our jagged images. Those nights lie close to our bones, thick in our blood, those nights distant as churchbells, sweet as Russian tea, those memories beating against the suspension of everything we hold to be true.


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