Monday, June 29, 2015

Steve Klepetar - The Woman Who Drowned / My Neighbor's Scythe

The Woman Who Drowned

Here is the story of the woman
who drowned: she was looking
for a hole in the moon.

Pity the boat rocking in river’s flow,
pity the rotting boards
and the cattails tangled in her hair.

Pity the boys skimming stones
who find her again and again.

She has lost her shoes, but each boy
hauls them from the river in dreams,

degraded hulls bobbing slowly
past saturated logs or nests
or branches ripped from trees by storm.

My Neighbor's Scythe

My neighbor nailed a scythe

to the outside wall of his garage,

weather-gray handle curved
into rusty blade, not rustic

decoration above his woodpile,
but ancient symbol for harvesting

the dead, plain tool as momento mori
Could his aesthetic include

awareness of the grief 
awaiting us all, the linear path

we tread through cycles of time
(this winter with no hint yet

of spring on the distant
horizon, or how dirt builds

slowly from decay,
giving new birth to other lives)?

Would he, in other times,
have worshipped the old goddess,

she who rocked death in withered
arms, who knew long paths

to the underworld, its black rivers
churning, its furnaces bubbling with gold?

Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared widely, and several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

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