From the corner of my eye, a gray hare
leaps into my only concern is where
your promise will lead me to that final
question, the one I must answer Yes, yes,
if that will get you to go to the ground
opens and I see nothing will ever be the
same ol’ same old as I am, there could be
gentle persuasions that would make me
this promise that you will always be my
friend I have seen you waking in the cold
night, he turned to her and said broken,
I have to admit, the function of any translation
is not only to set before the reader a loaf
of bread, a jug of wine and you will never
send me back to Germany, where the Rhine
flows across mountains where the gods
are said to feast on pigeons and gold
and the sable fur of the panther who
will serve until your sentence until the sun
a winking globe, warning of terror
in the coming year after year I tell you this
shallow in stream, dark in silver
swirling rapids, spinning like seed
puffs raining on oceans of grass
embraced by light. Bright the song
sung to the leaf, ballad woven
from blades of sun: melody
in oak, harmony in cool, white birch.
“What’s on your mind?” the cuckoo sang.
“Carve it out on a thick oak branch
glistening with ice on this November day.”
Chimes ring out the hour, walkers crunch
along cobblestones, young and brazen,
not afraid to fall. A comet races through space
touched by a metal hand. Everywhere
tanks roll, borders shrink and shift
and disappear. The wind is ripe with smoke.
What’s on your mind, friend, on this day
of work and cold? Is yours a cuckoo’s
mouth, echoing orifice breathing clouds?
Steven Klepetar’s work has appeared in nine countries, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Antiphon, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweats Hoppe Publications, 2013), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).