Tanya Korichkova

Bulgarian Soldiers Distributing Cigarettes to Turkish Prisoners

Underneath the false acacia,

black lotus,

my grandmother tells me a tale

of slaughtered Bulgarians

in a war I can’t remember

the name of.

Childrens’ necks sheared on

wood stumps so raw

they bled out

from splinters before their heads

rolled onto Mavrud mud.

Baba holds me captive in her wool

sweater that chafes my cheek.

I was never taught

my history in America,

so she fills the gaps

with cruel wars

as punishment to my father

for taking us away from her.


Tanya Korichkova is a senior applied math major at SUNY Geneseo. She spends her time between Geneseo and Redlands, California, where she was raised after immigrating from Bulgaria at the age of six.