A sort of novella in verse concerning a Circassian refugee from the Caucasus mountains employed as overseer on a large New England estate, and a visiting American of Russian lineage...
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Excerpts from Timbot
"She wanted to communicate
in their shared tongue neither spoke well,
accents strange, grammar seldom straight.
She felt her inept silence, and his own.
As she combed horse tails, Russian songs
her father sang her when a child
burst in her head…Forgotten long,
songs of battles, tsars, prisoners,
drunkards, princes, Cossack chiefs,
brigands, Gypsies, rebel mountaineers,
and homesick exiles nursing griefs…
She sang songs for him, he found words
remembered, but he would not sing.
Rebellious, he finished grooming his horse.
They drank cold water from the spring."
"Could you tell
who in your village were the spies?"
"Oh, most we spotted very well.
But sure? I dared not tell my wife
what I am telling you today.
Neighbors listen, kids tattle. Life
a hell of echoes, hunger, fear."