She winks at me from the portrait on the wall,
While her relatives howl in the living-room.
Empty vodka bottles, a jar of pickles,
Fish skeletons hanging from the plate —
Just like a usual party, only the guests
Are dressed in black.
A somber carousel of red eyes,
Swollen noses and trembling lips.
Did the wailers rummage through her closet,
Open the brass box with her initials,
Read those yellow letters dating back to 1930?
Did they find the blurry mug shot
Of a Mongolian fugitive, whose slanted eyes
Half of her grandchildren have?
Her husband, the lean-faced watchmaker
We called Grandpa, is still waiting for her in Heaven,
As he waited for her on earth. All those nights
He left the front door open, so the cold wind
Wouldn’t catch her in the twilight,
As she was running home from the river.