Anna Akhmatova.


Anna Akhmatova


Anna queued for bread, the Sheremesky Palace is pointed out as we queue

in a traffic jam, (and the Nabokov Palace and Faberge’s workshop)

too far for us says, but we realise it is only ten minutes away

from overhyped Nevsky Prospekt. We reach the fancy gates and go through,

find the entrance, the old woman in the small ticket booth shakes her head.

Anna's front, Sheremetev Palace
Anna’s front, Sheremetev Palace

Boris has taught me the correct pronunciation. It’s here somewhere

so we sit on the steps outside and wait for someone who speaks English,

eventually a young woman comes along and tells us Anna’s museum is out back,

a caretaker has been watching us and beckons us through a side gate


On way to her flat behind Sheremetev Palace
On way to her flat behind Sheremetev Palace

the flats are in a mess, a woman is standing outside a door smoking,

we pass graffiti and a burnt out lift shaft into a garden,

Anna, on way to her flat behind Sheremetev Palace
behind Sheremetev Palace

find a memorial to Anna, enter the museum are shooed out,

find the ticket office with a display. The museum is closed for refurbishment, only Brodsky’s study

is open for the usual price, ten dollars, so we pass. I ask if the two cats

are Anna’s? The young woman has some English but no smile.

Otil and Turgev gardeners Anna's park
Otil and Turgev gardeners in Anna’s park

I buy a fridge magnet then find out it’s a notebook,

stop and chat to the gardeners Otil and Turgev having a rest

a chat with smiles and laughter and no language.


So Anna I missed you.

Dread. Bottomless dread…
I am that shadow on the threshold
defending my remnant peace. Poem without a Hero

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button