The Common Good
January-February 2002

Peasants Around Small Fires

by Therese Halscheid | January-February 2002

Along the Volga River, Russia 1993

flames orange their eyes
the life
their worn faces

one, cooking slim fish,
manages a silenced name—


he says
with frightened pleasure

and again

like so, like that

while waters came—

the current language of water there
at their boats
to the trees
by the banks of Yaroslavl

with winds letting loose
against evening
a slow mist upon everything—

God he continues

until they stand,

they all sing
barely seen

the new sound of their bodies.

Therése Halscheid teaches creative writing at Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey. Her poetry collection is titled Powertalk.

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