Monday, May 3, 2010

Poem of the Week by Luljeta Lleshanaku

Happy Monday. This week's poem is from Child of Nature by Luljeta Lleshanaku (New Directions Press, 2010). Translated from the Albanian by Henry Israeli and Shpresa Qatipi. Enjoy.

Shadows on the Snow

The snow comes late this year. Violet shadows
doze like shepherds around
a white fire.
The swaying shadow of a fence looks like a woman's clavicle--
a woman who dreams of her lover's journey home through the snow,
his late return.

Thin trails lead to the doorway.
A car parked for hours
compresses black earth.
Radio signals float out of earshot.
A boat with its eel fishers
in luminous raincoats skims by.
A child--his little hands trembling--
casts slanting trees across the table.

The choir kneels.
The moment has come to speak
in a voice I have never known before.

I raise my head and see a single star in the night sky
shapeless and fearful like the shard of a broken bottleneck,
a star I have for years foolishly followed.
Perhaps the shadow of my infinite persistence
looks like a large hill
on the moon, a camel bent over a puddle
preparing for a new stretch of thirst.

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