Marjan Strojan

(1949 / Ljubljana)

Thirty - Poem by Marjan Strojan

He sat on a timber of a young spruce cut down
on a Sunday afternoon: the woods still blue
and trails dug up by wheel-tracks all around
too wet for anybody to pass through.
He liked the shirt's grip on his back, the dell
all quiet and the solemn cool of things
at ease which this first Sunday's sunny spell
has brought to the belated Spring.
It wasn't all woods. From spruce over hill
flung in to the air resounding with May
a call of a cuckoo floated at will
like the doe through a fern-grass, not calling to stay.
He reached for a cigarette, tapping for matches
to light and to listen. He did listen. Until -
all at once there was nothing. The song came in patches,
he listened again, but his world went still.
He looked up the slope; from where snow kept its ground
it stared back at him, too deep for too long
for him to light up, sure next time around
he'll keep score of the numbers in a song.

translated by Alasdair MacKinnon

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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 16, 2017

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