The traveler ponders some rumors that have reached his ears

He’s heard stories of amber, of winter storms that deposit
yellow knurls and knuckles the length of the long beach
that runs north to Palanga, of roads jammed even in winter
on a fair Sunday with beachcombers eager for treasure.
He’s not found that road yet, shy or distracted or put off
by some vague sense that the old powers should be
cautiously approached. He’s read that the Christians found
this land hard to enter, the people stubborn, claiming
to be happy with the gods they knew. That’s been centuries.
Still the borders mean something. Still the news is bloody
and not so far away. The traveler read in the U.S. news
that there’s new word form Vilnius: if the Russians come,
stay calm. Show up for work. Hug your children. The traveler
has noticed nothing scary, but he knows he’s wearing
a snug cocoon of ignorance. Anyway another source insisted
that the message was mostly about storms, fire, earthquakes,
the Russians only one of many perils that need forethought
but not fear. He doesn’t know whether the bundled souls
he passes on his night walks are brooding on blood, or thinking
only of their doors and dinner and a drink, or wondering
how much amber the last storm of winter washed up
on the beach, how much waits half-buried to give itself
to any walker, golden as cool fragments of a lost sun.