Centuars' Blues

By Jan Wagner

we have poisoned all the heroes, taught princes and their heirs,
we have poisoned all the heroes, got drunk and put on airs,
and all was ruined anyway and made unfair.

where does the rider start? where does the steed end?
who can know if he is steed or rider in the end?
something paused – and something galloped, gathering speed.

our mother was a cloud, she watched us grow up together.
until some darker clouds began to gather,
speeding between our legs through grass and heather,

and us, confused with plunder, with steaming animal skins,
making a racket in forests back then. no steaming skins,
no clatter now of hooves. and the night is blinding.

but if you stand at the river: search through the mist
for our familiar shapes. trust we still exist.

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