Daughter Of Moscow

Mark Gordon

She is a daughter of Moscow,

the cathedrals, the squares.

She is a vein of marble

in one of its statues,

a fuchsia streak in a wintry sky.


Russia has whitened her face,

placed two large, blue eyes

below fashionably plucked eyebrows,

given her the innocence

of a fawn grazing beside its mother,

although men have explored

every fleshly inlet of her body.


Yet something they haven’t touched.


It falls, a faint blue in a single snowflake

of a Moscow blizzard, caught

by the wind, whirled about,

delivered to this new country

that she can’t stop thinking about

the shape of the streets, the babbling

people, the way the tramcars rattle

through the night.


Mark Gordon is a novelist and poet who grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and the United States, including Poet Lore, Quiddity International, and Roanoke Review. His three published novels are The Kanner Aliyah, Head of the Harbour, and The Snail’s Castle. He is presently living in Toronto, Canada. He maintains the website, which he invites you to visit.

"For many years I taught English to newcomers to Canada. One of the things that impressed me the most was resilience of these risk-takers, who left the language and traditions of their own country to venture to a new land.

In one respect they seem innocent in their new surroundings but at the same time, they show a maturity and strength that the transition molds and tests. I am describing one of these people in the poem.

I enjoy writing about other people because in a strange way the unconscious is allowed to speak in a manner it never quite does when I am talking about myself."