old woman’s summer
for day 1 of @aphukraineweek - “family”
1860s-ish. Ukraine and her little brother talk one evening. (some notes here)
“It’s harder than you think,” Russia says, sinking into an armchair. The rest of his empire is asleep, or ought to be; Ukraine’s just gotten back from another trip, this time as Russia’s envoy to Sadik in Istanbul – but that’s a whole different story.
She’s just closed the door behind her, shutting out the night. It’s warm, for early October, anyway. The Antonivka apples will be just starting to ripen back home. Ukraine shakes the damp fog from her shoulders and stamps the mud from her boots.