Thursday 1 April 2021

Three Stunning Poems by Steve Klepetar


Read My Palm 


A small town appears, 

wide fields 

of soybeans and corn 

in the blazing sun.


Your cat leads you here 

on a night with no moon. 

You show her

your smallest key.


You have enemies 

draped in steel, 

but they will drown

in the coming flood.


No one greets you,

no carts or pickup trucks.

All you see

is a pile of clothes 


folded on a concrete bench.

Salmon leap into your boat

by the silver falls.

The quiet cat licks her golden fur.



The Country of His Birth


Wooded hills coming into view. 

Big gorge, too wide, so many 

boulders, a frightening place of skulls. 


Slowly you pick through the bones. 

You and your dog alone here on this 

high place, waiting for the mist to clear. 


You open your coat to the cold air. 

The dog slips her leash, scrambles 

down toward the rocks and cave. 


You call her name, but she’s caught 

the scent. Her motion pulls you along. 

Now the sun burns in the sky.


Everything looks blue, then red and gold. 

You hold a mirror to your face:

your father stares back from the country of his birth.





Phone rings, and you’re in an alley 

behind the dumpling place, 

walking back and forth as you strain to hear. 

Someone has a message for you, 

but you can’t be sure if it’s real or a robocall. 

A woman’s voice, maybe with an Irish lilt, 

or maybe she’s half singing now, 

and dogs sniffing at the dumpster 

have been whining for a while. 

You might have known her long ago, 

in some other country where she drove you 

for hours around a strange town. 

Now you know where all the stores sit 

on their grey haunches - butcher

and bakery, fruit store and the place 

that sells toy castles and painted knights. 

Or maybe she is just a voice requesting

what she needs from everyone, a set of numbers, 

a commitment from you to raise your wounded palms.

Steve Klepetar lives in the Shire (Berkshire County, in Massachusetts, that is). His work has appeared widely and has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. He is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including Family Reunion and The Li Bo Poems.

Steve Klepetar is waiting out the winter and the pandemic in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

1 comment:

  1. Congaratulations Steve on your work. I enjoyed reading about realiries instead of just high-sounding stuff that makes little sense if any!
    Andrew Parkin.


Three Poems by Steve Klepetar

Changing So many women turned into trees  or reeds or weeping stones. There was a man bent over a pond  who became a flower. Another died  b...