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The pandemic was daily news last year,

often from someone’s kitchen or study.

Once, behind a British virologist’s

talking head, was a black and white lithograph

from the same series of a hundred

as one we have: ‘Berezy’, ‘Birches’,

ours bought in Moscow’s Izmailovsky Market –

the May Putin was first crowned – from the artist’s

son, the father an emigré in New York.


Uncle Vanya and the Three Sisters

might stray into the etching’s romantic

melancholy, its stillness, its almost

ominous quietude, its imminent

sense of loss – as if the hawser taut

across the quarry in ‘The Cherry Orchard’

were about to snap at any moment.

Through a tangled thicket of leafless birch trees

a stretch of water gleams: beyond, a low rise

with a pale fence, and a wooden dacha small

against an alabaster sky.



© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Mary Clark
    June 17, 2022

    How art travels through time and space! Lovely poem.

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