“Elegy for Shura” by Diane G. Martin

“What is that beautiful game?”
“It’s not important.
All those who knew how to play
are either dead, or have
long since forgotten.” “Even you?”

“Especially me.”
“Is it ivory?” “Only bone.
The ivory game
was sold during hard times. Too
bad, yes, but it matters

not if no one plays.” “Teach me,
Shura.” “I do not remember.
And anyway, what is the point?
Then with whom shall you play?”
“I’ll teach someone else.”

“Did you ever hear the one
about the old Odessan
Jew who drove to town…”
“You can’t divert me so cheaply.
Now back to the game. Shame

on you for using such a ruse!
I expected better,” I grin.
“You ask too much; I’m dying.
I’ve no energy
for whims. So, join me at the sea

again this year and then we’ll see.”

Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, has published work in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: JAL, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life, Wordgathering, Dodging the Rain, Antiphon, Dark Ink, Gyroscope, Poor Yorick, Rhino, Conclave, Slipstream, and Stonecoast Review.

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