Somewhere in Eastern Europe

It was the year the townsfolk

shaved off their hair

believing that bad thoughts were

getting trapped in it.

 

The hairstylists were banned

from the area. The grey-winged

hens of Palawy laid their eggs

all around the town.

 

After school, I worked my way home

through hair-drifts. My grandmother

acquired the strange habit of tearing away

the last page of my school compositions.

 

She assured me that one day

I would understand why. My grandfather

often said that she intended to tear away

the last page of his life.

 

He left her and started floundering

through the side-streets of women’s hair.

Unhatched chickens laughed at him

from inside their speckled eggshells.

 

I was advised not to mention my parents

either at school or at home.

“You’ll learn to forget,” my teacher

comforted me. “You’ll live a good life.”

 

 

 

 


Anatoly Kudryavitsky
 has published three collections, Shadow of Time (Goldsmith, 2005), Morning at Mount Ring (Doghouse, 2007) and Capering Moons (Doghouse, 2011), as well as A Night in the Nabokov Hotel, an anthology of contemporary Russian poetry in English translation (Dedalus, 2006), Bamboo Dreams, an anthology of Irish haiku (Doghouse, 2012), and three novels. His latest novel, Disunity, has been published in England by Glagoslav Publications (2013). He lives in Dublin, Ireland, where he edits Shamrock Haiku Journal.

Issue #56 March 2016
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