Thursday, 8 April 2004

Eggs for Sale, Serbia

The sign read "Eggs for Sale, "
(I offer it here in translation; the original
Serbian momentarily escapes me)
"This way -->".

So I followed, this way -->, and 
On arrival, at the end of a track, at
A cluster of white-painted farm buildings,
Enquiring as to the possibility
Of an egg or two, I was greeted
By some men (who, as I recall, were mending a pump)
With a curious mixture of amusement and bemusement,
And was directed to Goran, who said,
No, we do not have any eggs, but
You are welcome to stay the night,
If you would like.

We sat outside together and drank beer
As evening slipped over the hill behind the Danube
And talked a little of the war.
His cousin had been in Novi Sad
When we bombed the bridges there.
And he had watched the bombarding of Belgrade
From his farmhouse, white on the hilltop,
With no eggs for sale, but a place for the night, if you'd like to stay.
And I said I was sorry, for what it was worth,
I had been against it from the start,
Another country up which we had messed
It's the politicians who are mad,
And Goran said Forget it, it's the best
Firework display we ever had.

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