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The Gypsy and the Horse

November 2, 2008 by · 2 comments

Violeta Boncheva


The Gypsy and the horse
Are hauling the kernel of life uphill,
hoofs pounding on the precipitous rocks,
As the Gypsy is cursing at just about anything
that flitters on the face of this earth,
and the whip is cracking.
Not spared is even his mother,
Who flashes her teeth, all missing but two.

His father could curse up a storm – she says,
which is why I’d be with a child every year.
Laughter rattles her wrinkled bosom
Full of smoke
Dry and useless.
Steadily sucking on a dry morsel of bread,
She’s blending with the lazy fire outside the hut

while past rolls the procession
Of horses and brides
Kettle drums, bears, and
caravans full of children,
Disappearing downhill
Or up towards the stars…

And the night descends.
Tired but determined to continue
the world’s cyclical dance,
Her son rests his head, sweating,
On top of his wife’s face
And continues to curse and pound
against her torn skirts
In the name of life.

Translated from Bulgarian by Zoya Marincheva

Violeta Boncheva’s poem won third place in Poetry in Public Republic’s literary competition “Modern times”

Categories: Frontpage · Modern Times · poetry


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