Jan Wagner

Two Poems

of lake michigan
Transl. Eva Bourke

the whole night the storm raged
around the white clapboard house held together
by no more than the thin lamplight
of its rooms. the autumnal crowns
of the trees next morning
like shattered church windows.

the abandoned amusement park
with the maritime snakes of its rollercoasters:
in good summers they feed on
all the candied screams,
now they stand, rigid with winter.

nightly, friends, the dusk
cuts out the silhouettes
of deer from the woods.
the long strolls on the strand:
difficult to say in this lonely light
whether it is a black bear climbing ashore
or a fragment of driftwood
burnt to a black bear.



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