OK, so this is late. It is barely Thursday Alaska time, but hey, it is still Thursday!
This one was published in Peeking Cat Poetry in October 2015 (8th issue). Yes, it is about my little girl. No, really I am not turning her into a Russophile, but really, would it be a bad thing if I did? Ha ha. Just like mama! 🙂
My ten month baby girl says “da”
like a good Russian comrade.
Her hands flap in the air, beat her chest
with the conviction of Lenin presenting
his April Theses in Petrograd in 1917.
I tell my husband “da” counts as a word,
as it means “yes” in Russian.
He shakes his head: in English
it is short for “dada” or “daddy.”
Yet, he knows his Russophile wife better:
You’ve been speaking Russian to her, he insists.
I’ve been too tired to speak to her in anything
other than English, I tell him.
But that is not true:
I have read her tales of babushki and koshki—
Grandmothers and cats—
because it interests me.
Makes reading to a seemingly disinterested
audience easier, more productive.
Yet, I wonder, as she sits in my lap,
her corn silk hair thick like mine,
her lips open wide,
her hands clap patty-cake,
as I reach for the bottle.
Bringing it closer to her,
I pause before I can say khochesh and
use English instead:
want your bottle?
She smiles with her two front teeth,