There she was at last.
I'd been searching in vain for years to find her in post-Soviet land. Not an oblast was overlooked in this journey to nowhere. Like a missing child who's disappearance you had only recently come to accept, hope had been abandoned to acceptance that you would never see her again. But hope, even in Ukraine, dies last. Then as if she had been there all along, she appeared out of nowhere. The broom handle. And not just any broom handle. The rarest of breeds in post-Soviet land..
Casually leaning against a warm refrigerator unit as if she'd been there all along. And tempted were we by the comforting familiarity of her wet, filthy, worn-to-a-nub bristles which render her sweeping powers almost useless to do anything but scrape dirt and swine entrails underneath a neighboring kiosk. Leaning there, in an almost mocking manner, daring any babushka to risk using her. Risk being ostracized by the Babushki tribe. Risk losing your excuse for having a bad back. Risk 70 years of Soviet indoctrination on the need to be close to the floor and bent over while sweeping (perhaps there were health benefits!). Risk having your whole world as you have known it crash down before you as you stand up straight. What would the Patriarch say?! Go away, she-devil. Tempt us not with your Western ways. Begone!
And she vanished just as quickly as she appeared. Some say she flew south to Crimea, to tempt, for the sake of a good challenge, in even less fertile ground.