On "The Heirs Of Stalin", By Yevtushenko

Ah, so we are pushing poets to Suicide now,
Are we?
Oh, Great Father
What shines in transcendent tones beneath
You eyelids, laying out upon the
Expanse of snow and Something-That-
Is. You.
Yours.

It is May
And you
Renamed a country as yourself
Or Both because only
"Tyrants" assume that sort
of Identity.

Take any petty demagogue!
You: the
Silent, rough-welded, pock-marked countenance…
Iron: at Yalta. Let us
Step away, for
A moment. Beneath the
Whiteness…star-heat anger a
Man may
Shoot himself,
Hang: strangling from the forcible
Hand of Propaganda (Great Father!)
When in
Ramallah or Leningrad, hostile
And the summer-snow (blessed June the Wermacht
Private sobs!) of
Madness.

You were far from mad.

Ah, Leader.
Comrade!
Why two-face the wrath of
Empire you understand
It quite as well as
Any…more so! Ah…the roughest
Man is often the quick-set
Diplomatic presence. Anyone. Sure-footed,
Georgian…could-have-been
Priest.

Almost like an artist.

Almost but then not for
You.

And Yevtushenko was far from correct. You left no heirs. You lie still motionless in your tomb, the planes circling, the
Kremlin crumbles to the
Dust of forgotten
Empire.