Northwords Now Issue 35

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Scandinavian Noir

Fornby, Siljansnäs

by Stephen Keeler

It’s not an act of spontaneity
or merely ill-advised romance, to carve
four hearts each meeting at their points to form
a four-leaf clover branded on a tree
as lovely as the birch at Midsommar.
My first response would otherwise have been
a smile of fond recall that once upon
a time a day had been so perfect that
a proclamation, lightly etched with flint,
became compulsion, celebratory.
The longer that I looked, this cut declared
premeditation; an atrocity
required to disturb, unnerving in
the sharpened chill approaching through the leaves.