While I imagine his demise, I wonder what Putin’s mother might be thinking


would she say he never liked
the yellow sun
or the wrinkled blue Georgian skies
that lifted him after climbing out of the
labor camp of her womb?
had he only ever loved the grey ash of
death, the look of cement in his eyes?

would she remember a boy who loved
grasshoppers, the smell of summer wheat,
sound of trains
would she wonder how many hands
he passed through after her arms led him
to an adoptive Russian mother, and did she
mourn the loss, convinced he would thrive
under red and ruddy skies?
would she marvel at how the devil found
such an ardent student with crushed
black holes for eyes,
a heart pulled apart like poles?

Vera, the non-sanctioned mother,
ordered to silence on the matter
of birthing a peasant president
is a perfect erasure if one
never wants to answer
what would your mother think.
if she is still alive
will she see, with so many mothers
dead and quiet,
that he had obliterated conscience?

will she think to place flowers on his grave
when this is over
or admit he even deserved one?

About the Poem

I was wondering what Putin’s mother might think seeing her son become the despised dictator he’s become while I easily imagine his end. When I looked up information on his mother, I found he had a sanctioned mother via an adoption but there was another woman, a Georgian named Vera, who had stated she was his mother. She was silenced on the matter and two people researching his background, ended up dead before anything could be established publicly. I wanted to imagine through her peasant’s eyes what she might be thinking of her son today.

About the Author

Rebecca Surmont’s poems have been seen in Silver Birch Press, New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, Trouvaille Review, and anthology: Seasons, by Trolley Car Press. She lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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