Every Morning

By Curt Eriksen

Every morning grants a reprieve

but sometimes the sound

is the roll of the drums

beating retreat, the rifles

lowered as the sun continues

to rise, the horses’ hooves

slipping on the frozen snow,

the dazed men opening and closing

their eyes, there and not there,

in Semenovsky Square.
The snapping of the swords

above our heads, the sheepskin coats,

the boots, the imponderable weight

of the shackles.
There is something almost perverse

in the determination of the poet who seeks

his justification at an absolute,

a transcendental level.
A justification that often appears

to be lacking.
Not death, not yet dust,

but the long cold exile

of a calling.


Curt Eriksen was born in Kansas, but now lives with his family in the Sierra de Gredos, in western Spain. His short fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in Rosebud, Blood Lotus, Johnny America, The Ranfurly Review, New Madrid, The Ampersand Review, Foliate Oak, Ghoti, Radiant Turnstile, Oak Bend Review, 34th Parallel, Contrary, Pindeldyboz, Temenos, 42opus, Alba, The Oklahoma Review and Del Sol Review.

More work is forthcoming soon in Blackbird, Canopic Jar, Anemone Sidecar, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, the Indian publication Harvests of New Millennium, and an anthology being prepared by the poet John Smelcer.

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