Over there, more than a century ago

too far away for us to understand?

Ostrovsky staged a  fight

and fought for stages.

His backdrop was a swaying wood

around slaves freed (to be soldiers)

and masters trapped

in sudden clearings.

News sprouted from the trees, unheard-of lines

sprang, ruthless merchants

taking heart

took all.

A rough play.

Ostrovsky, following Shakespeare,

rallied the actors, brought them

to recite demands.

A fine mind.

But lack of money closed the matter.

Ostrovsky died in deep uncertainty about

the kind of audience

for, against whom

he had written. Their bill fallen, we perform

our part, occasionally at sundown

hurry to the theater

to see.

Allusion to The Forest, a play by A.N. Ostrovsky (1823-2886)