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Medium size

Анна-Ванна, наш отряд       Anna-Vanna, our small troop
Хочет видеть поросят!         Prays see each newborn piglet!
Мы их не обидим:               We won’t hurt them: we don’t dupe
Поглядим и выйдем!            We’ll just look and then we’ll split!

Уходите со двора,                Get out of the yard by gosh,
Лучше не просите!              Be you not a begging hoard!
Поросят купать пора,          These small porkers need a wash,
После приходите.                Come and see them afterward.
    ~ Лейба Квитко, «Хазерлех»     ~ Leib Kvitko, “Piglets”
       Translated from the original Hebrew into the popular Russian nursery rhyme at left by Sergey Mikhailkov

—    When you first met me you might as well’ve said
—    “Baby, let’s go for a ride

The greatest intuitive I’ve known
Called selling the Boca News
Got Chesley on the phone
While his Doc Martin shoes
Sat propped on the oak table I’d built
With his feet planted in them
He said the News could go wilt
In moments the phone rang again
He told me “this call’s for you”
I stepped to answer it then
Knew what he’d told me was true
She said the News has good coupons
I said for that reason I’ll buy
Say let’s proof those class papers you work on
The coupons were a lie
But when we first met at the library her charm
Revealed itself cute as a whit
How could she do the least harm
Some lies don’t matter a bit
That was the last time we went out
Before I helped her move in
She knew without the least doubt
That she would want five children
She was my cute little sweetie
I’d gladly raise them with her
Though she was childlike already
Which made me feel the safer
I told her tales of my background
Women who’d left my heart crushed in the ditch
She looked me right in the eye to expound:
“I am not Amedikan beetch”
Knowing just how she could comfort
A so-long lone soul like mine
Turned out to be a real forte
For someone small cute and divine
But until her first committal
I wasn’t led to surmise
No one need say that she’s little
Let’s call her medium size

Florida was a relaxed place
I learned some Yiddish and Russian
Silicon Valley’s more fast-pace
It brought one big repercussion:
She and all near her felt pressed to work hard
In the technology field
Businesses torment harass and discard
Those who to her healing compassion appealed
Stressful the days that served but to bombard
Her rest time which could but yield
Terrible the nights as her mind lost its guard
Over the empathic heart she revealed
Till she gained weight and lost focus
At last quit sleeping at all
Benzodiazepenes did hocus pocus
Doctors missed signs of withdrawal
Till she would cry or maniacally laugh
Seeing my face, and she’d call
“Yep, looking more like a giraffe!”
Thus came her first such transmittal
And with it my great surprise
That I had dared call her little
Since she was medium size

Sometimes she was catatonic
Sometimes midst traffic she fled
Sometimes she waxed histrionic
As when her mom came and led
Her to a plane bound for Brooklyn
Where I was told she would swim
As if that was a solution
Once I caught up she looked thin
Asked what it was she’d been eating
She said: “Why nothing but juice
  Made fresh between every meeting
  With a witch doctor by deuce”
“How long have things been this way
  You silly medium size
  Why is it no one would say
  That from which I could realize
  Reasoning for your indefinite stay
  Harkening to juicy lies?”
I could get nothing but shrugs
From what seemed best to cohere
All month she’d had nothing but juice and drugs
Then I met with the juice healer
Inquired how to go back
Onto some solids for her
“I’ve no idea” quoth the quack
I said: “We’ll fly back to our place
  Your mom can follow along
  She had no right to go debase
  What had already gone wrong
  I’ll learn to juice all your juices
  I’ll help you get substance-free
  Doctors and quacks have no uses
  To you: your best hope is me”
Though she ate nary a vittle
I was by stages made wise:
Never affirm that she’s little
Picture her medium size

She was a child of seven
When she fell sick for a year
Doctors in town said she’d soon be in heaven
That she should not long be here
Her mom looked for a solution
From those with different renown
Of naturopathic persuasion
Who told her: “Get out of town
  Feed your young daughter with freshness
  Raw goat milk, new growing leaves
  Never do what makes her anxious
  That’s the cure for her disease”
So off they went to Kutlova
Far from the city’s ratrace
Met a guy there whose old shack by Jehovah
Had two walls each with a face
One was a portrait of Jesus
Standing with hands stretched in care
And on the other — done with equal neatness —
Stalin’s aspect hung with flair
This was an old-time herb master
Some might have called him a quack
But if the city brings you to disaster
He’s the sort who’ll bring you back
I had at last heard the story
Of why her mom chose to do as she did
But should you seek the same herbalist quarry
Seek not in Brooklyn as heaven forbid
Those who know healing through nature
Know best by healing themselves
Cities can’t know such a creature
In wholesome habitat dwells
Twice now I’d signed her committal
Once I’d said: “Well, off she flies”
Doctors and quacks knew too little
To help my medium size

When she would come back to Moscow
From her long country sojourns
She bore the strong healthy soul-glow
Everyone surely discerns
One boy made friends with her gladly
They were quite close for awhile
Other girls noticed them loving too madly
And they told him she lacked style:
“Look, there she goes in her slippers
  She makes us laugh unto tears!”
Though that crowd all had been just little nippers
Back at that time they were peers
Pressuring him to be ruthless
Leastways that’s how it sure seemed
For he walked out on her feckless
As if their love had been dreamed
Thenceforth she craved more dispassion
And eschewed hornier guys
Thus what was frumpy not fashion
Made her my medium size

Young folks can live in old bodies
Ageless our souls that they bear
Old folks can live in young bodies
Obeying every last care
She says my hormones direct me
To have eyes for bigger girls
But since nonesuch would select me
To whom this lonely heart whirls
Other than one cute and needy
A beauty queen in disguise
We came together so speedy
There was no time to apprise
Motives that may now seem seedy
Though we’re still each other’s prize
For I got this right indeedy
Her needs the bind that fast ties
I’ve only one need that binds me
So this is all that applies
I need somebody who needs me
Tell me who better complies
Than a grandmotherly cutie
Young and old in every wise
Old in each care and each duty
Young in effects that arise
From such attention such beauty
Our combined effort implies
Never a cause to get snooty
I’ll take her medium size

I juiced her all her fresh juices
From which one but slowly weans
Forced from her doctors excuses
For withdrawal from benzodiazepenes
Was what had made her go mental
I got a mask for her face
For it seemed quite fundamental
That she work right in the place
Where we’d get solid food steaming
Though she felt steam scorched her face
So thin she was each nerve ending
Had no protection and yet
I knew that cooking would help her
Digestion no longer forget
How it had worked in the old days
When we could go out to eat
It would take years to recover
Just enough to take the heat
Enzymes she took and so I did
Probiotics we took too
Bovine adrenal gland replaced Lithobid
Mineral baths quite a few
Negative ions she breathed in
Throughout her days and her nights
Long hikes in parks she believed in
Up long trails unto the heights
She learned forms of meditation
That opened her to a world
Which through my music and odd inclination
I’d often seen too unfurled
Now we had visions together
Bodiless guides noticed us
Sharing their secrets from nether
Domains that the mainstream distrusts
Secrets of spiritual healing
Secrets of insight and trust
In what intuitive feeling
Comes when our minds readjust
From years of cultural training
Influence from what seems real
Physical things though they may now seem reigning
Narrow minds lost their appeal
We took a walk one clear evening
She turned her face to the sky
Through which four jet planes left chemtrails long-sweeping
“Let us our learnings apply”
Said she and with certain feeling
We willed the jets clear the air
Lo and behold each jet changed its direction
Leaving us standing right there
Till they had flown past detection
Straight from the spot where we stood
We needed no more convincing
We’d from this sign understood
That we’d tapped into a power evincing
Uses for healing and good

In Earthly terms we moved higher
Coming to live on a knoll
Natural settings inspire
Spirits both downcast and droll
She could eat what she’d desire
Cornichons herring kefir in a bowl
Health through nutrition and natural cures
People soon learned of her wisdom
For one’s own crisis is that which ensures
Insight in face of threats fearsome
Sense what to do and when doing is done
Get the fear out of the system
Breathe take a hike or just soak in the sun
Some came with uncontrolled feelings
Some came with physical ills to subdue
All came for spiritual healings
That was her theory and maybe it’s true
Not all who came were supportive
Some endless takers she had to eschew
Some were quite plainly exploitive
Some claimed the knoll and so forced us to sue
Though she felt court was the wrong thing
These were healees for us both
Learning the law brought an upswing
Leading to both our souls’ growth
Being our own legal counsel
We saw ideally first-hand
What it means to be a scoundrel
And how to fight for our land
When at last we reached the courtroom
She’s the first who took the oath
For what we knew was we couldn’t assume
Was that by trial’s end we’d both
Still have our right minds about us
As it turned out we were right
Days of stress stopped her from sleeping and thus
She took a dive off the deck steps one night
In the last week of the trial
It had been such a long fight
That this time when I arranged her committal
More weeks passed to put her right
Yet she’d proved she wasn’t brittle
And it’s no more a surprise
Her soul’s too big to be little
She’s truly medium size

In those weeks as an inpatient
She was relieved of her mind
Courtesy of noncomplacent
Doctors who thought it was kind
To dose her with the most dosage
Of all the drugs she could bear
And all the while that her mind was a lossage
They fed her hospital fare
Fried stuff that had always pained her
And always left her gut aching for weeks
Cold stuff that had always strained her
And always left all bad germs at their peaks
This time she gulped down unworried
None of it bugged her a bit
With all thought gone and her stomach unharried
No kind of food was unfit
Up to that point I had been daft
Thus was my knowledge enriched
She knew the practice of witchcraft
It was herself she’d bewitched
Who needs a portrait of Stalin
Her purpose was all too bleak
She knew I never had fallen
So she had made herself weak
What else was there to prevent me
From going for more Western fare
Not that she’d truly resent me
She knew those women were lacking her care
That’s why we hadn’t had five kids
And why we’d moved to the wild
Cute as she is, nothing forbids
Me, too, from being a child
Her parents had both been loving
She had held trust in a cup
She’d had real friends, not neglect turned to shoving
I, on the inner hand, never grew up
Till as the years passed she raised me
Sure in her empathic heart
This realization we’d live — once it dazed me —
We love completely; no one’s left apart
That’s how things are, yes indeedy,
Whether or not it is wise
She is my cute little sweetie
And she is medium size

—    You fell the very best way when you said
—    “Baby, let’s go for a ride

Thanks always returns

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