From Susan Paddon's first collection of poetry, Two Tragedies in 429 Breaths (Brick Books).
Maria Chekhova dreamed of the yard in Yalta. All of the fruit trees were crying and she didn’t know why. The dogs were there. Olga too, just back from America, eating a giant pumpkin pie in the shade. Maria sat down in the middle of the lawn and began to laugh. She laughed so hard her stomach cramped and then her feet began to rise up beyond her control. The movement continued to her knees and hips, and before she knew it, she was floating upside down, her dress billowing in the warm breeze and still she was laughing, utterly and uncontrollably now. The trees stopped crying to look at her and all at once, they began laughing too.
This is the fifth of five poems in a series dedicated to Maria Chekhov. Read the first poem, Chekhov's Sister, 1873.