On a corner of Pico Blvd.stands a statue of Christpalms facing up in supplication.
He has not stirredthe 30 years I have watched him.
What does he want?
I was taught to be afraid.My mother's family escaped,while others not so fortunate.My father beaten upby Irish boys in Brooklynwalking to school.
Why did we children need to hearthese stories at the dinner tablebetween bowls of borscht I sloshedto the table and platters of kashawith spikes of mushrooms. [End Page 70]
I hated that food.I wanted white bread so softit stuck to the roof of the mouth,crusts cut off, dignified.Not what was good for me,dark grains to put on flesh.
Christ still refuses to movefrom that intersection.His hands must be so tired.All those years, begging. [End Page 71]
Carol V. Davis won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. She was twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia and the first American to teach at the Jewish University in St. Petersburg. Her work has been read on NPR and Radio Russia. She teaches at Santa Monica College, CA, and was the 2008 Poet-in-Residence at Olivet College, MI. In November 2010 she will read at the Library of Congress. You can reach Carol at email@example.com