Speaking to the Field mice

Speaking to the Field Mice

You’d be surprised how much there is to say about roots,
those endless tangles forcing their silent
way down into darkness and the wet womb of earth.
About seeds and berries and the green parts of plants
they know what they know, a drama
of nibbling and movement quicker than words sliding
their meaningful way
across my storytelling mouth as a child climbs
on my back and up my shoulders, inventing
a way to bring the story deep into her little bones.
And she does.  The wolf and its cruel smile, all the grandmothers
and beasts with a single eye,
golden haired girls with their red chapped
hands and generous hearts sharing a meager meal
and scrabbling up mountains of glass.
When the thirteenth fairy falls at last into a chasm,
a fissure gashed into bitter white rock, the story seems to end
but not for her.  “Where does she go?”
she wonders.  She demands to know what the fairy king
with his black, paternal beard, will do
with wicked trolls or women who could put a child
to such a death-like sleep.  Until that evil is redeemed
there is no sleep, no matter how streetlights stripe this early dark.

Speaking to the Field Mice clusters around stories, the act of storytelling and the power of narrative. Many poems in the collection work with memories, both real and surreal; folk tales; myth; tales invented for each day of the week; narratives about magical women and girls; even a hapless man who loses his girlfriend because he is incapable of making anything up – which turns out to be quite a story in itself.

If you have any comments on this publication, or questions about it, Steve Klepetar  would be pleased to hear from you.