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Compass Rose

 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.

by Jennifer Reeser
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