by Susan Tepper
from Meditations on dear Petrov
Set in 19th Century Russia during a time of war
The sky doesn’t see me. The wind passes through me on its way to somewhere. If I stop to smell spring blossoms they don’t relish my attentions. Why has it turned so, dear Petrov. This refusal to mark my footprint by an unyielding ground. Though spring is warmer than most. Wet. Of course you would not know. Leaving during the snows and yet to come back. All night I hear the guns. Awake and in dreams. The earth has turned its back. I struggle to understand. Wondering if at last I’ve perished. From my own will. The constant thinking. Fires burning lower than a smolder. There must be one single useful thing to leave behind. All feels permanent. The hard shell of my house. Once covering a beetle that crept out at dawn. The house too. I didn’t notice it had gone to sleep. All winter in preparation. Now with spring everything is down. What is the point of the awakening. Grey. Small bits of animal skin from death or mercy. Perhaps thrown away.
* * * * *
More about Susan Tepper and her widely published work can be found at www.susantepper.com.