Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 39

Lamb chops, Art says. At home, a tiny icon of Archangel Michael, But really it was pork loin. patron of the sick, soldiers, and policemen, fell off the shelf when Artie died. They laid him out in a white sheet You, angel of insomnia, stiff around his ivory body, a totem, disappeared and came back to life. a scrimshaw Eskimo charm Is that you washing dishes? with his perfect teeth set against snow Is it you watching television, and his faint sweet death-smell. you with your secret loves? I thought he looked free, Maybe angels don’t make love; let off from his dying chore, they just leave the world and peaceful, though he hated quiet. on wings of morphine. Maryna Ajaja began writing in 1978 when she lived in Port Townsend, Washington where literary presses like Copper Canyon and Graywolf Press were established. Many writers visited, lectured, and taught in this small Northwest coastal town and Ajaja soaked up that literary nourishment. She attended and graduated from Evergreen College in Olympia, commuting along the treacherously beautiful Hood Canal. She lived in Russia from 1991 – 1997 where she worked and studied Russian writers like Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam. Currently Ajaja lives in Seattle, where for 21 years she has worked as a film programmer for the Seattle International Film Festival, selecting films from Eastern Europe and the former Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In her poem to her late father, Artie, she brings his death to life and gives a both loving and amusing portrait of a father who joked until the very end. 39