“In Pushkin’s Country” by Rosa Arlotto


Russia is hosting the Fifa Soccer Cup
citizens who are not allowed to smile in the street
are shocked by the laughter and shouts
of foreign fans.
I feel too shaken to walk away
from my perfect polite guide
I feel like I have been given a formal welcome.
One bronze man on a horse
fixes its eye on me
bringing the light to a fantastic buried past.
The sorrowful time of Gorbachev
has made it possible for tourists to visit
and Russians to travel.
Palaces and things gone missing
are being restored the wide distance of political reality
hard to tell
25 million died for a failed cause
there is no turning back
how will it be done?
Russia’s pride bursts like fire
hopeful for slow progress in time
unwritten the way how
time seems to hold no meaning.
I spend a little time wondering and lingering on
before i leave the Hermitage
I manage to say goodbye to Kandinsky
and  red squirrels mysteriously sending signals
in the garden.
I haven’t yet figured out my perplexity for Saint Peterbourg
despite the fact I know very little about
I say all people are familiar
And daily life universal.




Rosa Arlotto graduated from UofTErindale College in languages. She is the author of a novel The Maestro and Margherita, two books of poetry, Record of a Modern Heart and Flower of Poison. She publishes periodically in quarterly magazine Literary Heist. She is currently one of the organizers of the Artbar Poetry reading Series.


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