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River of Hope--A Poem

Milestones Vol 26. No. 1

Danae: Ida S. Barton Poet Laureate, Beaver County

In the spirit of offering hope and inspiration to the residents of the former steel valley in the year 2000 - - its bicentennial.

Come to my slopes
Seat yourselves beside my pleasant waters.

You who gave me my first name.
You, the heirs of the traveler, now passed on.
The Tamaqua, the Delaware, the Shawnee,
The Wyandot, the Chippewa, the Ottawa.
Rest with me as they have.

Here root yourselves beside me.
Life your faces.
Your need is to build in the day breaking for you.

Allow yourselves to give birth again to your dreams.
Shape them with your palms.
Mold the form of your need.
Sculpt your public self image.

Come; I am The River.
Beside my waters,
The very blood of your existence,
You have space.
Place new steps of change.
Your yearning to respond will be refreshed.