Linda Pastan

(1932 - / New York / United States)

The Cossacks


For Jews, the Cossacks are always coming.
Therefore I think the sun spot on my arm
is melanoma. Therefore I celebrate
New Year's Eve by counting
my annual dead.

My mother, when she was dying,
spoke to her visitors of books
and travel, displaying serenity
as a form of manners, though
I could tell the difference.

But when I watched you planning
for a life you knew
you'd never have, I couldn't explain
your genuine smile in the face
of disaster. Was it denial

laced with acceptance? Or was it
generations of being English--
Brontë's Lucy in Villette
living as if no fire raged
beneath her dun-colored dress.

I want to live the way you did,
preparing for next year's famine with wine
and music as if it were a ten-course banquet.
But listen: those are hoofbeats
on the frosty autumn air.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: travel, autumn, music, smile, mother, fire, sun, life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Cossacks by Linda Pastan )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. To My Son, Robert Leary
  2. I am yours forever, gajanan mishra
  3. सिनायमोनि आंनि सिमांनि रजे, Bahadur Basumatary
  4. Wildly Into The Night, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Drunk poetry, Christian Lacdael
  6. Opportunities, Christian Lacdael
  7. COPLA 68 INVOCATION: This Bad Guy World, T (no first name) Wignesan
  8. Yes I Do, Lalit Kaira
  9. Wooden Footprints, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. New Migration Equilibriums Time Shift Es.., Terence G. Craddock

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

Of this worlds theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]