The Poplar Waltz audio

“Words written by an 11 year old girl to a 14 year old boy that fell victim to the Georgian-Abhazian conflict of 1989″

Dedicated to Denny

Somewhere in a distant land by a vacant sea,
Stands the wreckage of the building where you danced with me…

I never gave up loving you, I buried you inside.
I close my eyes and see the poplar trees and the sunlight,
The gravel of the road by the cemetery gate,
And all those black cars in a row in a motorcade.

I was eleven, you – fourteen, the year the war began.
Back then – I thought I was a teen, I thought you were a man.
The children’s dance at the resort. The longing for romance.
My palms got sweaty, my heart stopped, when you asked me to dance.

Your hair was golden, your eyes – quartz. I’ve never danced before.
The band had played a slow waltz. We swirled across the floor.
The sapphire waves. The orange sun. The glow of the sand…
It took two nations and a gun to make a girl’s dream end.

This was in 1989, before the Wall came down.
The next day, everything seemed fine, you rode your bike to town.
The first news of gunfire came in. Our peaceful world was gone.
People were afraid. Nobody knew what’s going on.

I won’t forget the terror in your parents’ eyes that day,
Or how your sister’s hair went from black to ashen gray.
They brought you on a stretcher, and the sheet was stained in red.
I blankly stared, with the waltz still playing in my head.

Denny! – you are a part of all I am; both love and hate.
I should’ve saved you from that brawl between two bickering states.
The old regime would soon collapse, and the free world would win.
That victory was bought by us: one boy’s life, one girl’s dream.

Somewhere in a war-torn land by a distant sea,
Stands the wreckage of the building where you danced with me,
The cemetery, and your grave, to which I cannot get.
I know the poplar trees are waltzing there at sunset.

Your hair was golden, your eyes – quartz. I’ve never danced before.
The band had played a slow waltz. We swirled across the floor.
The sapphire waves. The orange sun. The glow of the sand…
It took two governments, one gun to make a girl’s dream end.

Copyright @ Julie Deshtor 2017

About Julie Deshtor

Julie Deshtor grew up in the Soviet Union during the turbulent 90's, and moved to the United States shortly after the Soviet Empire collapsed in 1991. A bilingual author, Julie writes both fiction and poetry, as well as translating poetry and lyrics. She brings her rich cultural and life experienced to her fiction, exploring the psychological struggles of her characters with compassion and insight, as they navigate the murky waters of the modern society. Julie currently resides in Utah, USA. Her interests include art, world literature, zoology, anthropology and urban subculture
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