Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lilya Oliferuk: Two Poems

Hitch-Hiking with Mushrooms

I am hitching a ride to Kiev
with a friendly furniture delivery
man who speaks the funny dialect
of the village folk. The roads are
rough and my new friend jovial, telling
me about his wife and his garden when
we stop for a woman who got
old too soon and two buckets of
fresh wild mushrooms. She sits
between us and her rubber boots
squeak gently. A happy old man,
a sullen woman nearing middle age
and a world weary young girl -- we look
each other over carefully, we have the luxury of time!
The old man laughs.
Look at you, so young, so bleak!
The world is bright and
fresh faced on mornings like this, the
herons rejoice on telephone poles!
We part ways on the outskirts
of Kiev, a happy old man two
joyful young women and two
buckets of fresh wild mushrooms.

* * *

Abandoning Christ

Half of this country
is empty, the Dniepr dotted
with vacant villages,
overgrown and forgotten
the young ones move to cities
and the old ones die and
are forgotten
I venture into their
homes, push through
the sweet smelling grass
still wet with dew and
find remnants of
their abandoned faith
Christ propped
up against the wall,
neglected and worm
eaten but he calls
out still, I forgive
I forgive

* * *

~ Lilya Oliferuk, a student of my former teacher, Bill Hotchkiss, sent me these poems.I have no other information.

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