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.