Trusina, Bosna ... | Dženana Vucic

Trusina, Bosna i Hercegovina

i had the antipodean notion that if it snowed

in winter, summer must be cold too

what do i know of extremes anyway?

here summer is a languid crawl:

cumulus and low-slung haze,

air dry as kukuruz in my neighbour’s field

dry as hay baled into stacks like little houses

everything a flicker but far from ignite

i walk to the lake each day inking

my fingers purple on kupine

growing wild beside the road

plucking jabuke and kruške and šljive

from orchards left unreclaimed, re-wilding

fourteen croats were killed in my village

their homes left for the taking but i do

not think of whose fruit fills my mouth

the road is a crumbling snake halving my village

it would be quicker to cross the river

to stroll through cedar and orah and

crush majčina dušica and wild mente underfoot

but i am afraid of the other things left behind

PAZI – MINE; red stark against the trees

skull and cross bones, universal

the war is over but the dying is not

it is a twenty-minute walk through

air that crackles like empty chip packets

that no one has time to pick up because

there are bigger ribe za prženje and

the last stretch is steep rise to meet

three grey houses decomposing into bracken

i do not see them and look instead for

šumske jagode, though it is too late for them too

the lake unbends in dizzy aquamarine

it’s the cobalt in the water that stains it

bluer than all the red forgetting in Bosna

i unfurl walking down the hill, discarding

my dress and shoes on a sky-soaked bank

the water is taman, as they say here,

and i wade out with this summer’s froglets

skipping against my shins

Dženana Vucic is a Bosnian-Australian writer and editor. Her essays and poetry have appeared in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, Going Down Swinging, Australian Poetry Journal, Plumwood Mountain, Scum, the Australian Multilingual Writing Project, Rabbit, and others.

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