After multiple revisions, the crowd has decided
That you will rule Ukraine. Please, eyes bright
But bowed, address the crowd. List your
Fears, your fight, but, moreover, your
Hope for this virgin country coming
Into place against pockmarked
Adjust your dark eyes to the flood
Lights and your ears to the roar
Of this crowd. You will soon learn
About shrines near you that have-
One water-stained icon
Leaned against a column
And piles of plastic-wrapped flowers.
Let’s show you to the Rada, that
Glad council. They tremble, wanting
To know how you will relate to them.
Are you kind, compulsive, quick to anger?
Poised with one hand over backspace?
Soon, the handlers say, you will be
Shoved shoulder to shoulder with displeased
Journalists and required to account for it all.
So open your mouth, please. Speak.
Anastasia Knasiak is learning Swedish and Czech and lives in suburban Chicago.