Today's poem is by Stephen Frech

The Shelter in Children's Stories

     O der Abend, der in die finsteren Dorfer der Kindheit geht.
—Georg Trakl

The lion borrows the thunder's roar
and in such a storm has had to give it back.
In a dry hovel, the fox makes space for the hare.
The lion offers the gazelle a bit of his own seat.

Quietly, we walk through spaces that have many eyes,
like wild creatures seeking shelter from the rain.
We could have run to our own sure roof,
but the burrower's love of dark spaces never left us.

Even the summer has a winter dream—can you
expect the spring won't? or children? or you?
The tar pit looks like something good to eat,
but the great creature foundering there quickens

his own sinking with desperate claws.
Slipped below the surface, before he surrenders
his lungs to the ooze, his struggle looks like a child
playing beneath a blanket, then drifting off to sleep.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Stephen Frech All rights reserved
from The Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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