Poetry Porch: Poetry


by James Naiden

                        —for Natalia Osipova,
                        after being mugged
                        in New York City, June 2010

Some years ago in Minneapolis,
A new actor at the Guthrie Theater
Was walking along the street at night.
Suddenly he was attacked and beaten,
The assailant unknown, never caught.
The actor died of his injuries. I have
Forgotten his name in the years since, alas.
In his anonymous memory and for your full recovery,
Natalia, physically and in all ways,
Here is a secular prayer—you are alive,
Your art is movement, interpretation for beauty’s
Sake. May the pas de deux, the arabesque,
The Tchaikovskian tulips, poppies, hyacinths
I saw one brilliant summer on the banks of the Neva,
That strong vein flowing through Russia,
Bloom in honor of the dance, the stories you convey
For those whose breath starts a bit, watching,
Then applauding madly, tremulous in speech,
Mustering words, colors along the river,
This brutal life of chance, seen through art,
As if death is but a long memory, the loss
Waiting we know not where.

Copyright © 2011 by James Naiden.