Through wide and motionless streets
a mother pulls a child on a wooden sled.
Two or three children stand and stare.
They have no wish to go sledding.
The mother could be a shadow.
The child is tightly bound in rags.
It is late autumn, Leningrad, 1943.
The Nazis wait to claim the besieged city.
The czar of the metropolis is starvation.
Citizens gather in common graves.
The mother tugs at the frayed rope.
The sled whispers on stone.
—from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
Glenn Kletke: “Words are mice rattling in the mind’s attic. When the noise gets too loud, you simply have to investigate. Maybe pull out the shredded paper of a poem.”