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A Flock Sign

znak črede
by Tone Škrjanec
Translated from Serbian by
Ana Pepelnik & Matthew Rohrer
Issue 29 Online Exclusive

ovca pridno kot mravlja
muli suho travo cresa.
nam, ki se peljemo mimo
kaže plavo volneno rit.
brez kakšnih globjih namenov—
spokojno sklonjena nad otokom
kot stara gospa nad skodelico kave,
ali dekle, ki se za trenutek predolgo
zazre v svojo podobo v morju—
ne kot narcis, ampak
presenečena nad gubami, ki ji jih v čelo zarisujejo valovi.

a sheep is grazing dry Garden
Cress diligently, like an ant.
it is showing its blue woolly ass
to us, driving by.
without any deeper purpose—
peacefully leaning over the island
like an old lady over her cup of coffee,
or a girl staring into her image in the sea
for a moment too long—
not like a narcissist, just surprised
by wrinkles outlined on her forehead by the waves.

Tone Škrjanec, the noted poet and translator, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1953 and is widely regarded as belonging to the literary vanguard of his generation. He graduated in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana, had a short career as a teacher, and worked as a journalist for ten years. Since 1990 he has been a program coordinator at the Cultural Centre KUD France Prešeren in Ljubljana.
Ana Pepelnik is a poet and translator who was born in Slovenia in 1979. She has translated many American poets into Slovene, including Elizabeth Bishop, James Schuyler, and Noelle Kocot.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of nine books of poems, most recently THE OTHERS, which won the 2017 Believer Book Award. He has co-translated poems by Tomaž Šalamun (with the author), Virgil Banescu (with the author), and Volker Braun (with his mother).