A walk in a park, and a reading of Vasily Grossman inspired those lines.
There is the city by the wide river, beyond it there is only the immense steppe, to the sea. There was a turning point, they say, a combat of titans.
Here, the river is slow and narrow, feeling its way to the Elbe. There are, all around, woods and and lakes: water reigns. I walk those streets, haunt those memorials, read the grafiti on the walls of the Reichstag, carefully preserved, that remind us of those who walked all the way from the city by the wide river, to meet their fate here.
I live here, and think constantly of the long road, from the shore of the Volga.
Image: Soviet War Memorial, Schönholzer Heide, Berlin