Konch Magazine - Bulgaria by Vesselina Ivanova
by Vesselina Ivanova  
The bully countries beat her up, 
and left her lying in the back alley of Europe. 
Her bruised face blinking, 
she tries to raise her voice 
to call for help. 
But the West side smirks, 
and keeps walking. 
“Nice try darling.” 
So she prays, 
and ever so slowly 
lifts her crippled limbs 
off the bloodstained pavement. 
Wild-eyed, hungry alley dogs 
debate upon her limping flesh. 
How they’d fancy a taste 
of that beautiful creature 
on the verge of death. 
But she pays them no attention. 
Death has been waiting for her since 
the Paleolithic age. 
He can wait a while longer. 
He knows, 
Bulgaria is friends with Time. 
His ghost lingers by her side. 
And their fingers intertwine, 
like inseparable lovers. 
In the mountains, 
Time helps her plant flowers 
at the graves of Vaptsarov, Levski, and Botev. 
Husbands, fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers, sisters. 
The people, the people, all of the people! 
The ones who locked eyes with hell, 
and walked straight into it, 
just to save her from that same fate. 
Her crippled body plants flowers  
at their graves 
 with Time. 
Time might be her only friend. 
What is left of her family left her behind,  
for the fool’s gold 
and false promises 
of other countries. 
Still, they cannot help but think of her, 
and pray to find her safe 
when they return.