Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Poem on Russia (sort of)

I wrote this after I came home from the Russia trip last year.  I felt like I'd made no difference, except in myself.  If you read my last post on the trip, you know I feel differently about that now.  I'm not quite ready to write poems about this year's trip, but I wanted to put one out there about Russia.  

One Week at Velikoretskoye Orphanage
For Nastya

Put your light in my eyes and let me see
that my own little world is not about me.
                                    —Matthew West

I wanted to tuck her into my womb—
keep her safe and make her my own.
Her eager eyes and clinging arms
should run in my veins—her memory
beating through me with every pulse.
When I breathe, it should be her orphan
scent that billows into my lungs,
like the dusty lace curtains in her room
mingling with foreign skin.

She let me into her world for a week
and all I did was collect her gapped smile,
and high-pitched staccato laugh
to take home as souvenirs.

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