The Death of Stalin

Sergei Ivanovich was once “tovarich”

and hummed along to the “Internationale”,

he once was nearly bloodied at

at the barricades,mentioned in official

despatches he became a Party “hero”;

Sergei Ivanovich grew accustomed

to snap-heeled salutes in the

Kolyma Peninsula,1936 or thereabouts,

supervising prisoners’slashed-vein evenings

and their bowls of tepid soup

and the twenty kilo boulders being

passed along hand to hand:

and then,

They came for him;

the official ZIL saloon arrived

bringing with it The Silver Braid,

who lit their cigarettes tracing

scarlet arabesques in the gloomy dusk,

Sergei Ivanovich didn’t keep them waiting,

bowl-spasmed funk robbed him of

his steadfast demeanour as he opened

the door and the ZIL saloon

with its incense of iodine and

brown leather slinked back to

the wolverine forest where in

the night memories lose themselves,

and in the morning are found,

covered in quicklime..

 

Author’s footnote:-

I originally posted this as “Stalin Calls” on 19 July 2011.Only the title and featured image have been “re-booted”.

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