This morning a revolution begins
with a fight between my sister and I
over a plate of stale breadcrumbs.
News in the background:
headlines, a reporter interviews a war hero,
no school today; a bomb
exploded on our playground.
Then weather forecast:
bleak, minus, Western chill.
Silence follows the samovar’s whisper,
our small hands finish homework.
Arched backs break, bearing too many words –
heavy crumbs fall between eyelashes.
Father sips boiled leaves, watching
Dynamo Kiev versus Beshiktash,
in Champions League. Nil-nil.
Offside, free kick, fault. Crowds wave
half-burnt flags, breathing defenceless
against the penalty shot: the ball flies high,
West-East, hits the bar.
Outside kitchen window,
orphan trees march towards distant borders.
We do not lift our eyes from the page,
do not see anything but ourselves,
packing maps, colours, memories –
essentials for a world on foot.
In my satchel, baking paper wraps up
the infinite possibilities of one-way roads.
Illustration Nick Victor