My grandparents came from Slavic lands
melting into the pot. They shed their language.
Abandoned their memories for new fashioned
treasures. Hollowed out histories. Stories
wiped clean to become part of the whole
taught never to stand out.
They melted, sculpted masterpieces
wrought into slag filled souls.
I was left unattended. Unattached without a line
to draw me close, no chink for my inquiries,
I heard her muttered plot. Baba Yaga seized
my wandering heart. Herself a nomad anima.
With house on legs of chicken flight she lured
me close to forest glen. Her yagaish, puckish,
prankster plan now makes me hostage
in my true homeland.
Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo is to write a poem based on a non-Greco-Roman myth. My mind went directly to a passion I have right now, discovering my Slavic heritage. Of course, Baba Yaga would be my subject.
As I began blurting my first few words, I was reminded of the fact that my family was not one that shared stories about “the old country.” I am only second generation here in the United States. When both sets of my grandparents arrived it was their goal to become American and drop, hide, or forget everything from Poland or Slovenia. So I grew up only knowing English and nothing about my ancestors. The only connections I have are a few pictures and recipes because my mom loved to cook. I was born after World War II and to parents who were the youngest of seven in both households. My cousins and aunts and uncles were much older and are long deceased. So I have no stories.
Then popping up on my Facebook page today was a link to the Denver Public Library’s celebration of National Poetry Month. Arturo Garcia’s poem The America I Want To See is the featured poem today and fit in perfectly.
Also, I wanted to find a lovely image of Baba Yaga. I really do love this character. I found a wonderful artist, Rebecca Solow, who graciously allowed me to use her image for this poem. Please stop by her site and blog to enjoy her lovely work. There’s another wonderful Baba Yaga to be found!
Finally, don’t forget to comment on my blog post, The Big Poetry Giveaway! You can win a free book of poems. Who doesn’t want a free book of poems?