Patricia Wallace Jones


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.


Catherine Chandler was born in New York City and raised in Pennsylvania. She has an M.A. from McGill University, where she teaches Spanish in the Department of Translation Studies. Her poems and translations have been widely published in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.