Wednesday 6 May 2020

Werner Aspenström: 'Årorna'


Inherited a boat but had no oars.
Selected two knotless candidates,
laid them in the attic to dry.
After that the earth’s crust ruptured,
electric devils forced their way up
electric spiders and all sorts of things.
After 30 years the earth’s crust closed up again.
Took the nurse by the hand and said thank you
Took the lecturer by the hand and said thank you.
He wished me a pleasant journey.
Saw copses, saw red tractors
jerkily dragging themselves across yellow fields.
Their number surprised me.
The gate of my father’s house was newly painted.
Took my brother’s hand and inclined my head.
Took my sister-in-law by the hand and inclined my head.
Lifted down the two planks from the attic
and crafted a pair of oars.
I now lacked a boat.
Sat down on the leaky jetty
and counted through my years.
Threw them to the Caspian terns,
who flew off with them over the reed beds
and let go of them, one by one,
as inedible morsels.

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