It's just poetry, it won't bite

Die Fledermaus (the bat)


08.27.16 Posted in today's words by

Ilona Martonfi’s most recent poem to appear here was “Earth from a cellar” (July 2016) 

Die Fledermaus (the bat)
By Ilona Martonfi

In the noise,
in the house,

apa, father, nails the bat to a board. “A bat’s claws could catch in a girl’s hair,” he says. It was you who ran and told apa. Found the bat hanging head down from the stucco ceiling in the upstairs bedroom. Unpainted cement floors. Brother József’s cradle. Black wood stove.

Magyar refugees settling in the rubble of an old airport factory hangar: Halle # 7. By the Moosgraben creek. Bavarian Forest chalk hills. Here, grandmother Kisanyuka’s chickens, geese. Rope swing attached to a linden bough.

Here, where you learn about place—place as school and place as body: waiting for ugly. Sometimes you take it out, rearrange the flowered cotton fabric.

Father does not know about teacher molesting you. You don’t tell apa.



One Response to “Die Fledermaus (the bat)”

  1. Mira Taylor says:

    Really like the way the details accrue–so spare, but they resonate beautifully. The title of the convivial Strauss operetta has never seemed so ominous. Lovely work 🙂

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