Poetry Post-A-Thon: Da

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!

Da!

My ten month old 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:
ne pravda.
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,
“Da!”

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