Midsummer Eve
Denmark 1998


Anita Endrezze

(On Midsummer's Eve, bonfires are built all over Denmark. A witch/woman is burned in effigy.)

a man walks up a hill   red
knowing the way past the whirring
air the wind mills blade
there's no point in hurrying

from the poppies scarlet flood
or the people drinking coffee   stand
aside for the black trees   we wed
the old ways with ax, spade and

the sea   like a horse's calm eye   glazed
with torch light gathering all the dark
shapes into one memory we gaze
at the one that is not us   chosen walk

into the long twilight   hands
stack branches   log over log
lighting the bonfires at the edge of land
into the flames the rag-bone hag

couples walk into the hills   birds
never sleep I remember waking
next to the man green or furred
his long tongue in one of my mouths   taking

I run into the hill of twilight   this
passion burning deeper than my bones
what my husband never can miss
not having known

but I with my secret   eye
the strange light horned god moon O   small
sacrifices of life so slowly we die
meaning much to us   Or not at all

in the fields greening dance the fox   musk
stink in my hair   I love it   the wild
man I can never trust
what husbands never know we never hide

the long uphill of the marriage bed   alone
fire upon wood, the spark that should breathe
light into each dark hour what is known
every woman is midsummer eve

© 2002 Anita Endrezze

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