During the interval, after act three
of Glinka’s opera, ‘Ivan Susannin’ –
pre-revolution, ‘A Life for the Tzar’ –
Stalin would leave his box at the Bolshoi.
In the fourth act, Ivan, the peasant, lures
the Polish Army out of Smolensk
and into a profound, winter forest.
They are lost. In the last act, they kill him.
Deep in the Katyn woods near Smolensk, pines
darkened the clearing where thousands,