sijo


Autumn Storm


Walking to the far scarlet hills as early autumn thunder rolls,

I let sudden torrents of rain drench me. But this cold is a bright relief.

I have days until you return. Free in the storm, I am free of you.






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky






Contents (this page)


Autumn Storm

Leaving

Normandie

Windblown

Three Sijo

Papa

Les Jours Noirs

Black Days


What is a sijo?

Leaving

Leaving our home, we reduce, divide, discard our treasures, toss out

what remains of all these years, the everydays, the good days. I stop.

This life we lived here was sweet, I say, our life was sweet.






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky



Normandie

reflecting pool

mirror still

white August clouds

white cross, white star

three old black geese soar

never having heard

war






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky



Windblown

We were poets, writers, painters, always, in spite of coal dust, grease, laundry.

I stand alone against winds of grey autumn afternoons, our faded pages lost, swept away.

Poets, my family, gone, windblown, inconsequential as crumbled, dead leaves.






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky



Three Sijo

I

Dawn begins on my skin, sweet anticipation of light.

The earth turns, the light proceeds; sun, a shiver of mourning.

Sorrow for the loss of peaceful night, my bones weigh heavy.



"Dawn always begins in the bones." Hymn to Ra, The Egyptian Book of the Dead


II

We laugh over childhood adventures. Our treasure was living,

freely alive, unconcerned with life, unaware of mortality.

Remembering when, by his grave, we were immortals.


III

The hard weight of my thoughts dissolves, light shines, life clear as fresh rain;

each leaf and bud enunciates, a gleam, each stone in high relief.

This day of despair washed clean, there comes my son walking home.

©Susan Zegarsky

Three sijo poems, first published in Lynx XVIII: 1 February 2003

Thank you to the late Jane Reichhold, with love and gratitude.


Papa

He scatters seeds carefully, broad hands gnarled, stiff now, and he,

frail as the fallen leaves, as the bright, tiny birds who gather at his feet;

Papa readies for winter in silence, the frost no longer distant.






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky



Les jours noirs

Ces jours noirs, ces silences mortels, c’est à toi. Le deuil de la poitrine,

le désespoir, la perte, la peur, tout n’était qu’à toi. J’oublierai ce que tu m’as fait,

de ne jamais oublier.

Enfin la souffrance se dissout comme la glace dans les petits bisous de pluie.






un sijo

©Susan Zegarsky



Black Days

These black days, these deadly silences, they are because of you. The grief in my breast,

the despair, the loss, the fear, it was all only you. I will forget what you’ve made of me,

never to forget.

At last suffering dissolves like ice in the small kisses of rain.






a sijo

©Susan Zegarsky















What is sijo?


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