You rose like a turnip from the permafrost:
Cold and stout and
The Earth’s unbeating heart.
Lev Davidovich, how far you came
From the soil your father tilled!
You thought you buried all the flags
But only sowed them:
And the armies that sprouted
Are at war today,
—Their blood like morning dew on the steppe,
—As if impaled on the blades of grass.
And where you buried your scrolls,
Others have buried theirs:
Many of us live quietly under the ground.
Now I stand at the temple mount of the new century,
Looking up with the newborn green shoots squinting at the sun,
And I marvel that you did not die in Siberia
But were a one-man Diaspora windswept to Mexico,
—Killed with an icepick.