Frozen Waltz

Those long marching columns of Slavic men,

moving feet to rhythms immoral, unpluralistic

uniforms flashy

enameled buttons and badges shinning

well-timed clouds of breath

issuing on each exhale in

Red Square.

 

The television, garish color

and static of NTSC,

those tanks roll

and those feet go

solid and secure

they sing:

 

Sing to the Motherland!

Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong.

O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people,

To Communism’s triumph lead us on!

 

she looks at the dangling doily

the TV sits on

how it flaps with the rising chorus

from the speakers

our enemies are strong is the take away

which makes our resistant might

acceptable

as Reagan

quotes missile counts

and promises Star Wars

for mere trillions of dollars.

 

Then a meltdown

and Glasnost

and the Berlin Wall

pounded down to rubble.

She was born in 1922

when the Reds united Russia

and papa had his heart attack

and the waltzes played on the

phonograph

one two three

one two three

mama twirling with her

baby arms plump in photographs

black and white

frozen.

 

Now its almost 1992 and she is 70 years old

and the TV shows the hammer and sickle

lowering from the Kremlin, LIVE

and red, white, and blue

comes up into view

and the world is no longer as large

as it was.

She calls her daughter on the phone

begs her to come out to Kansas

she needs reassurance

the Soviets are gone

and history is history.

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