The Peasant’s Dance (Suktinis, a mead named after a Lithuanian Folk Dance)
The honey wine, although sweet
with traces of blueberry
and black and red current juice,
warms me with overtones of bitterness.
The nectar fills me with music,
and my limbs, heavy from the harvest’s labour,
are loose, and I want to dance.
And dance, I will, a spinning dance,
fired by fiddling, pipes, and drummer’s beat,
until the night falls to dawn.
Then, tired, but not exhausted,
I’ll reel homeward
to sleep on the straw bed,
dreaming dreams of wheeling freely,
forgetting the daily whip of obligation
that drives my work in the fields
in service to a man
who does not speak my language,
who does not even know my name.
Joseph Kleponis has taught English and American Literature in schools north of Boston, Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared nationally and internationally in journals such as The Aurorean, The Penmen Review, Leaflet: The Journal of the New England Teachers of English, paperwasp, Eucalypt, and other literary magazines imprint and online. Also, he is a member of the Methuen Grey Court Poets.
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