Tag Archives: brooms

The Domavoya *


Crick, crack, crinkle

babushkas lash twigs

to birch handles, muttering

small incantations.


Swish, swash, swish, swash

shuffling backwards

bending forward, they

sweep the roadway clean.


Rub a dub dub at forest’s edge

gnarled thumbs smooth fragrant oil –

poppy, castor, clove

deep between wrinkled thighs


mount their brooms

scream Baba Yaga’s name

and shoot like wild comets

over tundra, taiga, steppe.


Clip, clop, clip, clop,

a horseman is coming

clad in gold armor

riding a golden horse.


Babushkas fall from the sky like bats

drifting down to doze in doorways

lizard lids closing

on bright blackberry eyes.


Someone creeps shadow-wise

across a darkened threshhold;

bony hands snap out to clutch and catch,

exacting a fierce reckoning to pass.


Who wants to cross? And why? they ask

What you most fear, will find you here.

What will you trade to get in?

What will you give to get out?



* Russian word roughly equivalent to concierge

© 2010 Christine Irving