To Marina Tsvetaeva – Robert Jansen

2018 Crabbe Poetry Competition – Third Prize
Adjudicator: André Mangeot

To Marina Tsvetaeva

You are like a wordless thread
Sown into a poor peasant’s coat
But are you asleep or are you

Wandering Moscow streets in
Search of a window like the dawn
Snow on your upper lip is that you

Faraway under a street lamp with
Your dead daughter how strange it
Must seem to be a ghost holding

A child’s hand drifting like the mist
From place to place the kisses of
Love the hair the sighs the crystal

Moon unbreakable someone else’s
Now there is a boat you must catch
Before the light finds you a pile of

Old rags in the corner the pristine
Statues won’t help or give courage
But in your own city are you asleep

Robert Jansen


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