Words and pictures poetry challenge 2 — Albina

Michael_E._Arth_-Moscow_Metro-_oil_painting,_1980

 

Twice every year we take the train to visit him,
Once at Christmas and once on his birthday in May.
In December Baba brings carnations, his favorites.
In May, she takes tulips and remembers their wedding.
It’s been five years since he was put to rest.
His casket was piled high with roses and lilies.

Each December 22nd Baba buys tickets and carnations
We ride the station’s escalator amongst moving packages.
Behind Baba once I looked over and held a stranger’s eyes.
Voices echo from speakers it is time to board.
Noone speaks to me, nor I to them, from my world.
Twice every year we take the train to visit him.

Five years since we left Kolomna for Moscow.
I feed pigeons now instead of chickens.
Baba scrubs floors at night at the Krelim.
“Go next door to Mrs. Petroskey’s if there’s trouble.”
We sell fresh flowers in Red Square on Saturdays.
Still visit him, at Christmas and on his birthday in May.

The girls at school teased me once; the boys knew better.
Mrs. Troika said it would be best if I stayed home to learn.
The pigeons on the roof like bread crumbs.
Baba reads me stories at bedtime of brave heroes.
She trades and barters; tickets are purchased.
In December Baba brings carnations, his favorites.

Baba tells me stories of when she and Ded were young.
He was a sailor and she did washing at the docks.
She said Mama was the prettiest baby on the block.
Mama is buried near Ded, with a space between them.
Mama’s tombstone is made of pink and white granite.
In May, Baba takes tulips and remembers their wedding.

Five years since we left Kolomna for Moscow
We gave the chickens to Mr. & Mrs. Brown.
Jimmy’s family took Skipper, my best friend,
And Daisy, our worn out cow, went to the knacker’s.
We pass our old cottage’s vacant windows, to the graves.
It’s been five years since he was put to rest.

As we kneel in morning dew
Baba cries in her black woolen cloak,
I silently recite Humpty Dumpty, remembering when
I served him Mama’s special tea with a lemon tart.
Ded was a war hero, beloved by all but two.
His casket was piled high with roses and lilies.

 

 

Note: The Russian terms for grandfather and grandmother are ded and baba.

Jane Dougherty is the host of Words and Pictures Poetry Challenge.  Jane says:
This week I’ve chosen a painting for inspiration. It’s entitled Moscow Metro and it’s by Michael E. Arth. It’s an arresting scene, a moment caught on canvas, and I find myself thinking about that girl, who she is, where she’s going, and what the intense expression on her face signifies. …I think a cascade might be appropriate.

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    Very evocative poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje.

      Like

  2. Was Skipper a rooster?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      The chickens — including any roosters — were given to Mr. & Mrs. Brown. Skipper is a non-descript pet that can be something other than a chicken. How’s that for an answer?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds like your usual nondescript answer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Skipper was a small brown mouse that Albina coaxed out of a hole in the barn wall with crumbs of bread. Skipper was the only living being Albina had found a bond with, besides her friend Jimmy. It was only because she trusted Jimmy that she gave Skipper to him.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. memadtwo says:

    Wonderful. It stops the heart. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What I like in the cascade is that it brings back lines, so we don’t forget them, and the second time around, we see a deeper meaning. How stories should be told. I was riveted by your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Jane. I agree on the repetition in the cascade and thought this type of story would fit. I know it uses the form of a cascade poem, but maybe it isn’t poetry? Anyway, thank you again for the provocative prompts!

      Like

      1. Seems like poetry to me. And it’s intelligible which isn’t the case with a lot of ‘poetry’ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          🙂 Thanks again, Jane.

          Like

  5. Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    A story poem from Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gina says:

    the story tucked between the lines is poignant and haunting, every word of yours seems to emanate from her eyes, this was truly amazing writing Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Who is to say, maybe it is her story…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gina says:

        perhaps, yes

        Liked by 1 person

  7. merrildsmith says:

    You did a wonderful job of getting a story into this–and your repeated lines works so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Merril, thank you. She needed her story told.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very fascinating story and the cascade worked very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Punam. The story is a composite of several life stories I’ve been privileged to learn (except for the special tea!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Li. Beautifully woven together…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol Anne says:

    this is so beautiful I really loved reading it! It was powerful and very poignant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.

      Like

  10. omordah1 says:

    Beautiful written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much. I wanted to do justice to her story.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. omordah1 says:

    I didn’t realize the typo🤦‍♀️ it should have read, beautifully written. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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