rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Premature Harbingers

For the last few evenings I have heard frogs croaking. They leave off once the night air grows too cold for them. I have been hearing waterfowl flying about as well, though I haven't seen any yet. They can't be going north so early in the season. If they do, I'm sure they will be forced to return before long. Winter is not done with us. The frogs will be forced back into the insulating mud, the birds will find their route full of wind-driven sleet. One should never trust winter simply because it has given us a few mild days. Winter loves to drive living things into hiding, and then bury their shelters in snow. But I love to listen to the frogs and the birds. I hope enough of them survive to fill the night with songs once spring really does arrive.




Sunday Verse



For the Stranger


by Carolyn Forché


Although you mention Venice
keeping it on your tongue like a fruit pit
and I say yes, perhaps Bucharest, neither of us
really knows. There is only this train
slipping through pastures of snow,
a sleigh reaching down
to touch its buried runners.
We meet on the shaking platform,
the wind's broken teeth sinking into us.
You unwrap your dark bread
and share with me the coffee
sloshing into your gloves.
Telegraph posts chop the winter fields
into white blocks, in each window
the crude painting of a small farm.
We listen to mothers scolding
children in English as if
we do not understand a word of it—
sit still, sit still.

There are few clues as to where
we are: the baled wheat scattered
everywhere like missing coffins.
The distant yellow kitchen lights
wiped with oil.
Everywhere the black dipping wires
stretching messages from one side
of a country to the other.
The men who stand on every border
waving to us.

Wiping ovals of breath from the windows
in order to see ourselves, you touch
the glass tenderly wherever it holds my face.
Days later, you are showing me
photographs of a woman and children
smiling from the windows of your wallet.

Each time the train slows, a man
with our faces in the gold buttons
of his coat passes through the cars
muttering the name of a city. Each time
we lose people. Each time I find you
again between the cars, holding out
a scrap of bread for me, something
hot to drink, until there are
no more cities and you pull me
toward you, sliding your hands
into my coat, telling me
your name over and over, hurrying
your mouth into mine.
We have, each of us, nothing.
We will give it to each other.

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