The Rule Of Names - Poem by Kathleen Griffin
Wrapped in a Russian army cloak
and the coarse cheesecloth
of legend, I fell in love
with the onion domes
of the old walled city,
with Peter’s ice-spun dream
at a northern window. Far
Baikal drowned my dreamless nights.
The Slavic cheekbones of the Ukraine,
the scarlet manes of the viking Rus,
fire and blood and the dragon prows
ran through my kindred.
That no doubt was why
shattered light through the birch trees,
sun glinting off the snowed-flat pines,
filled my eyes with a lacquered vision:
Russia contained in a glass of tea
deep as Lake Baikal, cold as the Volga.
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