Family Photograph

Margaryta Golovchenko's evocative poem feautures a protagonist with a penchant for tradition on the outside of history

by Margaryta Golovchenko


Mondays were the treasure troves
Little Europe looked forward to, the day the port
became indistinguishable from the court painter’s palette.
It read like a cross-continental shopping list
of parrot feathers and teeth, gemstones
and potatoes. But she never saw the price tags
nor noticed any slimming in the castle coffers.

Sometimes she swore there was a tiny voice,
in the same octave as water droplets,
that leapt off the mango skins and coral bones.
To her question where are you
she always got one reply:
everywhere –
I may as well be the dust that clogs your pores
considering the persistence with which
I keep being scrubbed out.

It didn’t take long for the spices to remind of embalmment,
rubies shed for show and pearls pulled for souvenirs.
After asking why she never saw her distant siblings
Little Europe was told a canvas is only so big,
and some are simply not as alluring.

Margaryta Golovchenko | @Margaryta505

Margaryta is an undergrad student at the University of Toronto, and serves as the editor for the journals Half Mystic and The Spectatorial. Her debut poetry chapbook ‘Miso Mermaid’ is forthcoming this autumn from words(on)pages press. She is an avid tea drinker and when not maneuvering around her mountain of to-be-read books she can be found sharing her (mis)adventures on Twitter.

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