Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Monika Herceg

fertility

the precise strikes of the hoe
crack the winter out of the fields
the days ripen into cherries
women into tough stalks

mother’s care is as rough as the tongue of a cat
long it enfolds and cleans the soil from pests
licks the fur of straying animals
cleaning them off the bad habit of entering the yard
out of her arms sprout the seedlings of cabbage and radish
she then replants into the throats of billets
out of her knees grow the greenest chards
mother’s skin is covered in sprouts instead of in hairs

before noon she always lays down
along the bluest bone of the sky
then with a belly full of early light
rams the morning into her womb
and grafts
the long necks of fertility
onto tiresome trees

in vain
in our house
wherever it may be
live people who died

the spring never comes in

plodnost

plodnost

zima se istiskuje iz oranice
preciznim udarcima motike
dani sazrijevaju u trešnje
žene u čvrste stabljike

majčina briga hrapava je poput mačjeg jezika
dugo ovija i čisti zemlju od nametnika
liže krzna životinja koje zalutaju
čisteći ih od loših navika ulaska u baštu
iz ruku probijaju joj mladice kupusa i rotkvice
koje presađuje u grla gredica
iz koljena raste najzelenija blitva
majčin pokrov su klice umjesto dlačica

uvijek prije podneva legne
duž najplavije kosti neba
pa trbuha puna mlade svjetlosti
utisne jutro u maternicu
i kalemi
duge vratove plodnosti
na umorna stabla

uzalud
u našoj kući
gdje god ona bila
žive ljudi koji su umrli

proljeće nikada ne ulazi
Close

fertility

the precise strikes of the hoe
crack the winter out of the fields
the days ripen into cherries
women into tough stalks

mother’s care is as rough as the tongue of a cat
long it enfolds and cleans the soil from pests
licks the fur of straying animals
cleaning them off the bad habit of entering the yard
out of her arms sprout the seedlings of cabbage and radish
she then replants into the throats of billets
out of her knees grow the greenest chards
mother’s skin is covered in sprouts instead of in hairs

before noon she always lays down
along the bluest bone of the sky
then with a belly full of early light
rams the morning into her womb
and grafts
the long necks of fertility
onto tiresome trees

in vain
in our house
wherever it may be
live people who died

the spring never comes in

fertility

the precise strikes of the hoe
crack the winter out of the fields
the days ripen into cherries
women into tough stalks

mother’s care is as rough as the tongue of a cat
long it enfolds and cleans the soil from pests
licks the fur of straying animals
cleaning them off the bad habit of entering the yard
out of her arms sprout the seedlings of cabbage and radish
she then replants into the throats of billets
out of her knees grow the greenest chards
mother’s skin is covered in sprouts instead of in hairs

before noon she always lays down
along the bluest bone of the sky
then with a belly full of early light
rams the morning into her womb
and grafts
the long necks of fertility
onto tiresome trees

in vain
in our house
wherever it may be
live people who died

the spring never comes in
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère