Such a picture of withering
demands active engagement.
Chrysanthemums bloom into the snow
like the color of a wounded animal.
A free moment between increments
of time filled with decay.
The mathematical beauty of frost.
The end of struggling through mud.
At the end of November the plum tree
smells like dog kibble.
We sit and watch the chickadees in the feeder,
drinking hot tea, a celebration of security
with dusk’s familiar arrival.
Who wouldn’t love the gray Sunday afternoon;
we’re already so far from the scene with the fox
dragging its injured spine along the highway
like stolen prey.
MILAN DĚŽINSKÝ is a Czech poet. The poem “November” comes from his first volume of poems in English, A Secret Life, forthcoming from Blue Diode Press in July 2021.
About the Translator:
NATHAN FIELDS has been translating from Czech and Slovak for nearly two decades. His translation of Marek Šindelka’s novel Chyba (Aberrant) was selected by World Literature Today as one of the best translations of 2017. Among others, he translates the poetry of Milan Děžinský and Marie Iljašenko and is an editor of the literary magazine Project Plume.