Socialism with a Human Face
It looked like every person who’d been
airbrushed from twenty years of official photos,
like an old man with an eye missing
and blackened teeth, but grinning,
like the thirty politicians who hanged
or gassed or shot themselves that April,
like a prisoner in Leopoldov undergoing
an appendectomy without anesthesia.
It was a beautiful anomaly — an algal bloom
masquerading as a full-skirted oak
the people mistook for pine.
Elizabeth Onusko’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in 42opus, burntdistrict, The Collagist, Verse Daily, Poetry East, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. Her chapbook, The Prague Winter, is available from Finishing Line Press.