Came gently sneezing at my turned-up nose
when hiding under the soft wool blanket.
Winter mornings came with promising poetry,
heartening the warm bed and inviting me,
Poetry that smelled like burned wood,
infused with the smell of grey blackish ashes,
Keeping the dress sleeves rolled up,
and the hair with very much care combed
back in a solid hair bun, like a trusty guardian,
started every winter morning,
bended on her knees,
like in a pray
in front of winter stove,
like in a pray,
cleaning the stove,
She kept silent while cleaned the ashes,
Ashes, that warmed the house and cooked the food,
Ashes made the hot tea soothe,
Ashes made the popcorn dance and jump,
fly on the floor, and fly on the table
‘till we started popcorn fight,
popcorn flew in many mouths,
popcorn flew everywhere in the warm house.
Ashes of burned wood,
I could not understand,
its fire and heat took care of our roots,
penetrating our hearts like gold dust.
My mother’s silence every day cleaned
the winter stove from burned wood
with devotion and zest,
Getting it ready for a new day fire,
Getting it ready to cook borscht.