Here in the north, rivers don’t run red with blood.
Corpses of flowers still dangle
on their long stems and geese have gathered
and flown south. The leaves, no longer interesting,
scatter brown and crinkly across lawns or cling
to oaks singly or in clumps. Not far from this quiet
place, languid with unusual warmth, someone
thought it quite a joke on Halloween
to hang black effigies from their front yard trees.
Maybe they were supposed to be ghosts –
white sheets, black sheets?
But between us there are ghosts enough
worrying their way up from rivers underground,
ones that burn, ones you will pay a coin
to ride across, and ones that rob you of your memory.
Steve Klepetar has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems. Family Reunion and A Landscape in Hell are forthcoming in 2017.