Somewhere Near Vilna

By on Jun 16, 2013 in Poetry

Village in black and white

Past where the train
goes where snow
mounds in the shape
of caves and ovens,
my father is holding
one hand near an
eye, tracing the
sun’s rouge light
in snow. Later no
one will be sure
why he can’t see,
moves thru shadows
with just his left
eye. A chicken
that will bleed
over straw by
noon the next
day, nests near the
foot of the bed
his mother made
of evergreen and
patched wood. Cold
spreads like oil
or terror. An Aunt
talks of the year
there was no thaw,
her skin cracked,
rough as a cat’s
tongue, reads to
my father in candle
light of a country
with no snow where,
if my father can
learn to read
symbols he doesn’t
know, rooms of silver
warm as a cow’s belly
will open to him




Lyn Lifshin has published over 130 books and chapbooks including three from Black Sparrow Press: Cold Comfort, Before It's Light and Another Woman Who Looks Like Me. Before Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, Lifshin published her prize-winning book about the short-lived beautiful race horse Ruffian, The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Recent books include Ballroom, All the Poets Who Have Touched Me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially The Lies, Light At the End: The Jesus Poems, Katrina, Mirrors, Persphone, Lost In The Fog, Knife Edge & Absinthe: The Tango Poems . NYQ books published A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out: For the Roses, poems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre; Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle and Tangled as the Alphabet,-- The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press. Just released, as well, Malala, the DVD of Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass. The Marilyn Poems was just released from Rubber Boots Press. An update to her Gale Research Autobiography is out: Lips, Blues, Blue Lace: On The Outside. Also just out is a DVD of the documentary film about her: Lyn Lifshin: Not Made Of Glass. Just out: Femme Eterna and Moving Through Stained Glass: the Maple Poems. Forthcoming: Degas Little Dancer and Winter Poems from Kind of a Hurricane press, Poems and Paintings from Tangerine press and The Silk Road from Night Ballet, Ice Maiden from Transcendent Zero Press