- Since You Have Come This Far
Agafia Lykova has lived in the Siberian
wilderness her entire life. Her parents fled
religious persecution in the 1930s, and the family
had no contact with the outside world until 1978.
Last night I dreamed that fire flew down from the east and when I woke the sun was lighting the snow aflame.
After living alone for so long, the sky became another prophet, the snow another burning bush.
Soon the embers died down into white ash — and then you came over the hills. I did not pray
for your arrival but I should have guessed that God would send a messenger. Tell me. How many wars,
how many children, how many new stars have you named? You ask what I will do when you go
as if my life continues to change. But I will do what I’ve always done: hunt for deer, recaulk the house,
erase all reminders of you. I’ll pray that when you come again in five or seven years you will
have nothing new to say and that I will still be here to welcome you.
I, the last believer. [End Page 10]
Hannah Kroonblawd is a PhD candidate at Illinois State University and a graduate of the MFA program at Oregon State University. Her poems have been published in Sycamore Review, BOAAT, and the Chattahoochee Review, among others.