The frozen drops of his mother's tears
like a pox upon his skin,
Vanya enjoyed the procession to the pit
as the snow fell like confetti
on the only parade he would know.

Originally from Arkansas, John Schellhase is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. 
In 2007, he received the Walton Fellowship in Translation for his work with Greek poetry.

I can't remember where I saw the photograph that sparked this poem. It was grayscale, I recall, and showed a woman dragging her son on a sled toward a mass grave in the Soviet Union.  The mixture of sorrow and a symbol of playful childhood fascinated me.



Copyright 2009