Tóth Krisztina költő, író, műfordító

Fotó: Bulla Bea     

Dog

 

It seemed no more than a clump of earth in the thaw,

a snowball that had rolled down a steep slope.

The day was darkening, nothing to see at all

just fields like tin, the windscreen part steamed up,

but as we neared it seemed vaguely to shift

like a heavy coat raising a loose sleeve,

a ditched hitchhiker’s shade thumbing a lift

in the brief glare of the passing headlights’ weave.

It was there one moment, gone the next. Each car

in the queue steered well clear of the thing

but I looked out for it on the hard verge

and suddenly there it was again. It seemed to sink

like a body, its two near legs in sludge

as if about to run, its nose held to the air,

its upper part attent. But behind I saw

its lower half, wrecked to a pulp. And there,

from its blood-clotted coat, stuck its back leg

that to a regular, agonising pulse kept kicking;

mouth wide open, it sat there, a half-dog

though I could tell from its eyes that it saw everything.

I cried out, Stop! draw up at the side

of the road. I begged you to save it or kill it now,

anything, let the cars  behind us provide

an ending. But what can I do? What? Just how

should I end it? And so your voice grew sharp.

What do you want of me? What is it you want? Tell me!

I wanted you not to leave it, I wanted you to stop.

Once you found it you should look after it or kill it.

A week we tended the dog, because we thought

at least it’s better off home with us giving it attention,

as if it were we ourselves who had hit it and left it out

in the road, a fact we had somehow not to mention.

But I could still not help wanting you wrapped

about me at night: I watched your muscular arm

trying not to think of the body that lay propped

in the roadside ditch, of the leg beating like a drum

while your eyes were focused somewhere far away

but did not answer; about the constant fury

and resignation involved in even love-making, and the way

you asked me just what it was that I wanted you to do,

striking the steering wheel over and over again,

and not once looking directly at me ,while I

watched as beyond your shoulder rain beat down,

soaking fields under a bloodshot winter sky.

 

 

 

 

Welcome , today is hétfő, 2019-05-20