What made me buy the nested Russian doll
whose faded paint and damaged wooden frame
had doomed her to a yard sale? Had her fall
from grace inspired a longing to reclaim
for her, for fifty cents, some lost esteem?
Perhaps I thought her singularity
would captivate a child. No, it would seem
I brought the pregnant outcast home for me.
For women I had tried so long to trace,
Matryoshka held a tangible motif;
same yet separate, I knew the face,
gave up each grievance, sanctioned every grief.
Restored, they stand here, echoing one another —
mother, daughter, mother, daughter, mother.