That Summer

by Nijole Miliauskaite

Nijole Miliauskaite

she wore light
long wide dresses
the wind carried her
down streets and through parks
easily, as if through a dream
with blossoming lindens
the thin soft cloth
did not hide
her breasts and in the sun
you could see her supple
young body
it was so hot
we rested
in wicker chairs
in the shade of giant
old trees, the river's reflections
glittered on our faces, boats
parasols and clouds floated gently by
your dropped bicycle
in the distant summerhouses opened books leafed
through by unseen hands
that summer
there was no war and there was not to be
the first the world
these are lilacs
from Jaskonis's mill, which is near crumbling
each year
I pick a huge bouquet
empty neglected ordnance yards
each year
grass overgrows
the trenches, the bunkers, and the bones
in the common grave
these are lilacs
from Jaskonis's mill, the saddest
flowers, for you Jadvyga (the overcoat
hacked by moths rots in the attic)
and for you Karolina, you are old already and for you
Barbora, the miners's
and for me

Last updated January 14, 2019