(c) all rights reserved · cascade · poetry

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 thoughts on “Words and pictures poetry challenge 2 — Albina

        1. 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

    1. 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.