For Erna Susic
In a pasture of trampled summer grass,
Near a barn used for hiding weapons in the old days,
Two young bulls rear back in the moonlight.
Although they have no horns yet, the clash
Shakes the stars
in a watering trough
Like heavy aircraft passing. Then for practice,
A hawk soars from a stag pine crown and circles.
The calves will turn and drink as the bird
Fades. So early, the skys first skrim of light
Seems to be rising on a dress rehearsal:
For the day to come, for the lead that will flow
Across the twice
While fire flings itself aloft
And tiny coffins bloom behind the hay ricks.
For make no mistake, this Balkan sun
Is everybodys ally. Too faint at first to take up
Sides in a dark valley, but it will show
Its real colors later, proving
an equal friend
perhaps before breakfast,
To the hand on the hilt and the eye in the crosshairs
Of every knife and rifle in the country.
Michael Majid Wolfe