Grandfather escapes a stalag and hides out in the Jurassic Highlands, 1941
Nights etched into cave walls,
plates of bark, upon which he laid
russets cut with a rock.
A weasel shared her bounty
of field birds and rabbit holes.
Foxes got out of his way.
Frozen rowan berries
or Christmas baubles? Communion
or history? Black earth or bones
of those who went with him in September?
One more winter will do me in, he thought,
but he lived on to sing in taverns
his forbidden songs and build his bread ovens.
Nights are his borderlands. Bushes glowing
with the tracking eyes of German shepherds.
The trigger fingers of branches heavy with dew.
translated byMarek Kazmierski