River Wedding

Ma is afraid of water after dark.
Nor the glass or jug, but the pumping station
Across the street.
Once she told me why.
When she was five,
Orunni, the village Huck Finn,
Who ran after ghosts, and no book could catch up with her,
Oruni told my Ma, google-eyed,
Sompawati, the river behind their thatched houses,
was getting married the next evening.

All the rivers would come,
Kopili, Bordoisila, Dibang, Disang, Kolong,
All the sisters of Brahmaputra would
Flow through their village!
It would rain and thunder,
So much fun.

Ma wonders if the water station
Keeps all those rivers, bottled
She can’t stand maps too, after dark

I haven’t the courage to ask her why

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