TUESDAY: Snow Tango


Copyright is held by the author.

In Sarajevo couples are dancing the tango.
Snow falls on their hair, gathers in the open

hoods of their jackets, onto the square
where the snow melts beneath each turn
of their boots. Couples are dancing the tango

on a brick-paved square while snow thickens
on the roof of a kiosk behind them,
on the roofs of the shops around them,
on the dome of the mosque above them
where a minaret pierces the snow-greyed air.

Couples are dancing on a square in snowy
Sarajevo, couples who were children
when the country was at war, when snow
fell and there was no heat in their shell-
pocked homes, where their parents burned

furniture for firewood, musicians burned
their instruments, lawyers their law books,
while war howled around them. Snow fell,
and bombs and bullets, while people gathered
in the frigid darkness of the opera house

using candles to light the stage, opera
to keep their humanity alive.
Thirty years later, in a world still riven
with hunger and war, couples are dancing
the tango in the snow in Sarajevo.


Image of Tamara Madison

Tamara Madison has published two chapbooks of poetry and three full-length poetry collections. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including the Writer’s Almanac, Chiron Review, Worcester Review, Pearl, Sheila-Na-Gig and many others.