Op/Ed Poetry

Letter to the editor: Sing, Etzuri — a poem with Ukrainian roots

Like you, I have a name behind

my name.

Scratched inside my throat.


Written in a burning book,

in a burning desk.

In a village outside



A girl, my grandmother slept

on a mantel there


with her mother’s rising

bread. Until she escaped

her name.


Had it traded in

on a sequestered boat,

Waiting in a harbor


here. For the smoke

to let her in.

For the name she burned


for me

inside my throat.

My twice-named Nana,


Who used to pinch

my cheeks.

When she wanted to see


the blood

turn a boy’s face pink.

To give them color,


she said. Like the poppies


in her backyard.


She wove into a girl’s

crown. She left

for me to wear, too.


Inside my tongue-

twisting real name.

I give to you.


To sing with me.

On this Day of Burning.

Sing, Etzuri.

Gary Margolis





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