Proverbs in Time of War
A watched pot never boils.
And what if it does?
A stitch in time from the army doctor
got Branka back on her feet,
so she could work to buy food
for her shiftless husband,
her five children,
and the orphan girl.
Just as well for them.
Katja runs faster and faster
across the market place.
The man with the sniper's rifle waits
until the range becomes interesting,
then takes the first pressure
and the second.
Early Bird has a muzzle velocity
of 400 metres a second,
is remote controlled by one infantryman,
and catches many worms.
It's a wise child that knows its own father
after the militia have finished with him.
The onlooker sees most of the game.
Hiding in the rocks above the village.
Jelka sees many different games
now, and for years afterwards
in her lonely dreams.
Looking for a needle that has escaped,
the soldiers, not wanting to waste time,
set fire to the haystack.
You can't see the wood for the trees.
And more especially
for what is hanging on them.
Tomorrow never comes.
And certainly not for Stojanka, Cipci and little Anton.
Red sky at night: Zoltan's delight,
as he looks down from the mountain
at the next village.
Red sky in the morning,
as he looks down
at his own village.
Every dog has his day,
where the thin soil
has blown off the graves,
every dog has his bone, too.
And plenty to spare.