by Reinhard F. Hahn
on the Low Saxon poem “Dat
gruli Hus” by Klaus Groth (1819–1899)
looks so welcoming by day with yellow frames and doors!
But it’s an eerie house by night. There’s shuffling
There’re slippers shuffling, step by step. There’s
shuffling on and on.
But with the new day’s morning light those
shuffling sounds are gone.
It sounds like an old woman’s walk in
search throughout the night.
It seeks and seeks but cannot find
until the day’s first light.
At nightfall it moves from the lounge, comes
And gropes about outside each door as though
it lacked the key.
It fiddles with the kitchen door, it
rattles and it knocks,
It claws and fumbles at the boards and touches
knobs and locks.
Then it slides on along the wall—swish!—down
the hall some more.
Then it goes climbing up the stairs onto
the attic floor.
Up there it slowly stomps about and
rummages and tears.
Then it steps back toward the hatch and comes
back down the stairs.
The lounge door’s heavy iron chain
keeps rattling, on and on.
But when at dawn the rooster crows
the whole thing’s simply gone.