FALL 2009

Norbert Krapf


Oh sis
when you came
into and left this
world without
ever drawing
a breath I felt
a tremor
in the house
and sadness hung
for years like
smoke beneath
the kitchen ceiling
until another sister
came and stayed

and ever since
that day of
your birth & death
I have felt around
the world like
a blind brother
to touch you
and bring you back.

Does it mean
you were silent
when you died
the moment
of your birth

or that sixty
years after
you died you
are still busy
being born?
Stillborn sister
lies on her back
staring into eternity.
If there is a circle
will it still be unbroken
when I come inside?

Are you still waiting
my sister stillborn
inside the circle?

Are you connected
inside the circle
to mother and father?

Will the circle inside
of which we come together
be unbroken for all time?

Has it been you I’ve been
hearing all these ye ars
calling me to come home?

Norbert Krapf's recent publications are a jazz and poetry CD with pianist-composer Monika Herzig, Imagine – Indiana in Music and Words (Acme Records, 2007); a prose memoir, The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood (Indiana Historical Soc. Pr., 2008); and Bloodroot: Indiana Poems (Indiana Univ. Pr., 2008), a selection of 175 poems written 1971-2007, including 40 new ones. A section of his poem “Back in Indiana” was incorporated into a stained-glass panel at the new Indianapolis airport by English artist Martin Donlin. He became Indiana Poet Laureate in 2008.



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