The four sisters at Tsarskoe

The four sisters sit like rooted daffodils
in the belly of the carriage -

their mother gave strict orders that their
shoes should always match.

Though they sit as disciplined as ivory gloves,
snug tight to each finger, Alexei runs

down the side streets undisciplined. Only his
father can scold him.

Their eyes: bluish-gray with Ana's fleck of gold
dilate and stretch when they see him climb

the iron rod fence screaming. The boyish hands
of the would be emperor shaking the bell

until Kyril comes running down the yard. He will
be reprimanded later when Alexei falls

and a herd of sisters and bodyguards swoop down
to check him for signs of bleeding.

In a year, when Kyril's American born mother flees
Tsarskoe with her two sons for her native country

he will remember that day. When tiny imperial
feet flanked him and taught him to march

in succession like the soldiers who would turn against
Czarism when the Bolshevik's came.

Alexei's seat in the carriage is untouched but the four
sisters will not move for Kyril.

Despite their little brothers roaring command Olga - the oldest -
curls her lip up slightly.

Tatiana, with the auburn hair is giggling behind her glove.
Maria, the beauty, moves a little, but not enough,

and Anastasia laughs the loudest. They are far from the fates
that await them.