In the Great Cold
What you want is information, finding patterns
in the flight of birds or the way frosty clouds
streak winter sky. Down, down you must endure,
along the frozen river's path, crawling through
caves tunneling toward Everdark, that space
of gloom and mist. Once there you must leave
your only gift, a clammy, breathing soul.
The rest is waiting. You might hum to pass
the time, or find, in your memory's trembling
thread, a song you thought you had forgotten,
one that shivers along your spine and makes
you think of hands familiar to lips and eyes.
Nostalgia will not make you smile down here.
When he rises up, your phantom father, try
three times to embrace him, through strong arms
won't be enough to hold the fog he has become.
Maybe he'll whisper your secret name. As warmth
floods back, his mournful longing burns the earth.
Steve Klepetar's work has appeared in nine countries, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Antiphon, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Recent collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).