English poetry

Poems in English

Compass Rose

I’d buy you a Babushka doll, my heart,
And brush your ash-blonde hair until it gleams,
Were Russia and our land not laid apart
By ocean so much deeper than it seems.

I have an oval pin, though glossy lacquer
Hand-made in Moscow, after glasnost came,
With fine, deft roses on a background blacker
Perhaps, than history’s collective shame.

I’ve done my best to compass you with roses:
The tablecloth, the walls, the pillowcase,
The western side-yard only dusk discloses
Briefly, in Climbing Blaze and Queen Anne’s lace.

May they suffice for peace when you discover
Your love is not enough to turn the earth.
I dream I saw a handful of them hover
Against my pane the morning of your birth.

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Poem Compass Rose - Jennifer Reeser