Домово́й

In the deep belly of the house while everyone sleeps, I feast I lick

Dead lice from the cupboard backs

and scurry Restless,

Whispers in the bedclothes nourish me Contented

Fat bellies rising and falling Are my reward.

It is me guarding the larder

Keeping the gates from blowing open in the strong wind

Gathering the droppings of Zaychik

Settling the mould that grows on the eaves

Gently plucking away the worries that encircle their sleeping throats

like Serpents.

I wrote this as part of National Poetry Month this year, when I participated in a challenge to write 30 rough drafts of 30 poems in 30 days!

Domovoy, in Slavic mythology, a household spirit appearing under various names and having its origin in ancestor worship. A domovoy dwells in any number of places in each home: near the oven, under the doorstep, in the hearth. He never goes out beyond the boundaries of the household. The domovoy is the guardian of the family and its wealth, but he is partial to conscientious and hard-working people. Any displeasure the domovoy feels with the actions of its family is displayed in troubles with the farm animals or in strange knocks and grating noises in the house. These last, however, could just be the domovoy amusing himself. He can, in any case, be easily placated. Encyclopedia Brittanica, “Domovoy”

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