Missouri River Rites


Dawning ascension, light transforms
from gray to amber radiance,
revealing open fields of rich, brown earth
plowed in long, even lines and bounded
between the river and far horizon.

Steadily, the climbing daystar
effuses life on rows of jade green corn,
traversing the roiling, gray-brown surge
of the Missouri’s muddy waters,
rising up and over forested hills.

Silent worship, morning fire, sacrifice
offered on plains and hills and valleys where
Missouri, Illinois, and Mississippi waters
meet with sun and earth
in reverence to the rites of life.

Thomas Fideler

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© 2019 Thomas B. Fideler

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