No. 7


Per Wästberg  

Translated from the Swedish by Hildred Crill  


Boil beets, chop onion, take the key from the nail,
go down cellar for winter potatoes.
Write in the journal: “Overcast. Went to bed late.
Fixed the kick-sled.”
Put useless coins in the piggy bank.
Count empty bottles. Brood, startle
at the main road’s rattle. Hear psalm song:
next door a traveling preacher has a revival.

Want to be someone else, want to know something more.
Test the night-thin ice for the sake of trying.
Charge this ordinariness with still more watts
so unexpected light burns through the varnish.
Tempted to give this verse a deeper angle
and distrust the motif’s strength to carry.
Still — undertones are overflow.
The ice holds over black water.




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