back to Poems Listen  



1934–35. The time of his arrest and imprisonment
in Moscow, and his exile, with his wife Nadezhda
Jakolevna Khazina, to Voronezh.

My mother’s house
Calm are the wolf’s bronze udders,
calm the light around her
fur, out-starred with frost

I am 43
Moscow we will not live

Iron shoe
its little
incurved length and width

Russia       old
root cellar      old mouth of
blood under-the-earth
pulling us down into herself
no room to lie down

      and your poor hand
      over and over
      draws my brain
      back to your breast’s small

Voronezh we won’t live
      not even my hand
      to hold to your hand, useless.

Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems