RIP Mikhail Gorbachev

"RIP Mikhail Gorbachev" – 8/30/22

I was 15 years old when your mind-bending
Glasnost and Perestroika permitted diminutive
Me to cross the ocean to The Soviet Union
Bittersweet diaspora Mother rooted in so much
Painful history for my family source of so much
Ongoing fear fascination projection rejection

The first few days were like landing
On the moon or Mars we were kids
With dreams as incredible as the idea
That sooner than later the Union would
Fall unceremoniously apart amidst the glorious
Openness the global exhalation the upheaval

A combination of Pulitzer worthy impact
And eventual resentment what must
It have been like in your latter days your
Controversially visible wife undone by illness
Your slow-burning ascent to ultimate authority
Mitigated by your own people's future resentment

Most influential, progressive - revered at first
Most unpredictable of relatively humble birth
Least likely to unwittingly change the world map
Eventually unleashing freedoms beyond Glasnost's
Grasp intentions amuck unruly conflicts' cluster-fuck
The very ideas that repealed oppression bringing

An empire to its knees now you're no longer able
To reflect on the seismic shifts your legacy left
The Green Cross your foundation's laudable purpose
Grammy/Pulitzer legend loved but equally despised
At home your powers were deposed as dramatically
As your prowess was canonized abroad a politician

Has never been as much a part of the global popular
Zeitgeist both young and old tattoo'd by tempestuous
Hope a Cold War's end contained vividly in your vision
Progress met protest, provocation pervaded injustice
I wonder tonight what to think and how to say Yartzeit
How to mourn a foreign leader whose policies led me

To my rebellious beshert all those many years ago
I grieve for your family, and for all of those whose
Spirits wane in one way or another amidst the shadow
Cast long and wide Cold War's revolution-convolution
Glorified, vilified, isolated, deconstructed, resurrected
Man as complicated as devolutions' essence