It's just poetry, it won't bite


07.12.14 Posted in today's words by

Nicole Yurcaba’s most recent poem to appear here was There Is a Zabava (June 2014).

(for Marichka)

The black and white, sixty-some year old photograph
blares against the bedroom wall’s whiteness.

Prababusya Marichka stares at me,
and I return her brown-eyed gaze.

I say, “Pryvit, temni ochi
(Hello, dark eyes).

“We peasant women,” I say to her,
“We know how to work, prababusya!”

She replies, “Tak, pravnuchka,
and we know how to suffer.”

“Oh, prababusya,” I say, “that is a cultural trait.
We Ukrainians, we are champions in suffering.”

Tak, pravnuchka,” she answers, “but we peasant women,
we are strong women: strong-hipped and strong-willed,
and the lines from our suffering never dare write their verses
on our blessed faces.”


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