Treasure Island

Nur Meiyati


My River


I am now sitting on a boulder at the bank of the river
My river
I remember how you wished you could see this river
As I often mentioned it in my stories about my childhood
But I could not take you, of course
Your presence would draw the attention of the villagers
And I even never allowed you to take me too near to my places
Neither to the office where I worked for nor my village where I was born

I used to swim in this river when I was a child
I, just like all the children in the village, knew very well all spots of the river
Within the vicinity of my village
Leaving nothing unexplored

Ah...the reminiscence of my childhood

How perilous the river is in fact
There are whirlpools
That are much deeper than the other parts of the river
They are so calm but dangerous
Many times was I dragged underneath when I swam there
But I was always safe, just like all the children from my village
And it challenged us to learn how to conquer the whirlpools
By recognizing their characters
Not diving on those spots
Flowing with the current upstream, patiently let our bodies float in a circle
Then at last we drifted away from them, downstream again
Oh, how we never had any fears
Having fun with the danger
However, I never heard any children from my village
Were drowned or carried away by the stream of the river

There was a story told from mouth to mouth
About a couple of old big green snakes
Who dwelt somewhere near the river
Who guarded the village I lived in
Who guarded all the native children from the village
I had never seen those snakes
But the story was best saved in my mind and imagination
A local story that really related to the real place
Ah ….not like the stories in the present time
Most of them are from the very remote places and remote time
This imaginative local story made the children feel secure and guarded
Became so confident in exploring anywhere around the village
We united with nature
When my school friends visited my house and proudly I took them to my river
I felt like I was obliged to protect them, my guests, as they would not be guarded by our snakes
Giving them advice to be careful

We were the children of the villages
Always felt safe
As we had guards
Besides, every member of the society had a strong moral obligation
To take care of all the children in the village
Every adult had a right to give advice to children
Every adult had an obligation to take care of all children
Every child had to respect the older people
All parents were the parents of all children
All children were the children of all parents
Everywhere the children went, they found parents
Who would feed them and protect them if their parents were not available
That is the nice thing about what is called collective society
Despite many of its flaws

Submitted: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Edited: Friday, November 29, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a part of the story 'You and Me' that started with I Informed You, 'I am Pregnant' up to My Love for You. To find them click on the Poet's Page next to the profile photo. Then click on More poems of Nur Meiyati, choose Order by Date.

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