Spring 2010, Volume 8

Poetry by Steve Klepetar

So Was the Word

I have cut this reed
of words for you and left
it here to dangle

in the wind.  You
couldn’t live entwined
in these earth-encrusted

roots, but you might
remember how the stream
burbled against white

stones as March snow
opened pale hands
to warming air.  We buried

vessels in sand,
tramped through thawing mud.
So was the word, so was the kiss of rain.

Two at a Time

February twenty-second, that day of snakes
risen on hard ground. 
Where have you placed mouths
and cups, and who has lengthened shadows

at our dancing heels?
No one trembles, but this day wears
colder in the bone, and even women
gathered beneath trees turn pale.

Have we spoken of this, how your long
stride fills me with hope, and the plunge
and ascent of your smoky breath?  Something
new climbs and bends unseen, something writhes

and will not let go.  I have felt its presence
on this windy plain, traces of a massive
shape winding through aged, crusty snow, open
now, through the shapeless body of my restless mind.

I Have Spent the Morning

cleaning your fingerprints
off my golden
thigh.  Still I feel them
burn, those buds of
flesh and coal.  Your gifts
linger, ash and beech
and oak and still the air
seems calm enough.

Fleece hangs from upper
branches, heavy and old,
bent with expectation
toward drowsy earth.
Later it will rain and wind
will cleanse the tender
holes you dug as we wait
for summer and night and
burning pinpricks set
against the velvet black of sky.


BIO: Steve Klepetar teaches literature and writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. He has received six nominations for the Pushcart Prize.