The Poetry Kit
Ted Slade - U.K.
Leningrad May 2nd 1989
The name of this city is Leningrad.
Once it was called St. Petersburg,
or was it maybe Petrograd?
The name of this river has always been 'Neva'.
Last week the river ice was solid.
You could stroll from the Aurora to Peter's fort
and still keep your feet dry.
Today the ice flows swiftly
into the Gulf of Finland.
Today is the second day of May.
The tourist coaches come and go.
Cameras snatch dead images of stone.
Men and women lean their backs
against the fortress wall,
absorbing the new Spring.
The men have taken off their shirts.
The women loosen their blouses,
draw aside rough linen
to expose white wintered flesh.
All keep their eyes closed, dreaming.
Let me comb your hair, my dear.
It is blond and soft, strays in the breeze.
Last night your hair strayed across the pillows
of our bed. The sound of our love-making
has pierced my brain.
One day this city will be called
St. Petersburg again. Or maybe Petrograd.
Or perhaps they'll give it