“Pumpkin Pie,” a Poem by Marija Dejanović

From the Collection Kindness Separates Night from Day

June 20, 2023  By Marija Dejanović

Translated by Vesna Marić.

A watermelon is a fish from a garden
she said and laughed

She had a wide-brimmed straw hat
and sat at the table in the yard

Her shoulders were sprinkled with freckles
and a knife shone in her hand

We have a watermelon, but who’ll slaughter it
that’s the expression in her village
as if it’s about slicing a wound in the warmth

She said when you leave, who’ll go for walks with me

She pressed her thumb against her cheek,
her index finger on her forehead
and released a small weary sigh after work

Said I’d like to make a pumpkin pie
but I can’t eat it on my own


She mostly walks alone
Moves around the streets like a small flock

Her feet, like two fish
perennially in the shade and under the surface
invisible they carefully mark out
the blood flow of the world

Sugar collects in the veins on her legs
and all her shoes bother her, that’s how much she walks


Thorns for my Sleeping Beauty
Cherry liquor for the sweetly acidic symbiosis

And the memory of that man, poor him
who had, when he heard we shared a name
asked if we were sisters


The sun levels out all kinds of cruelty
makes them less horrible


Excerpted from Kindness Separates Night from Day by Marija Dejanović (translated by Vesna Marić). Copyright © 2023. Used with permission from Sandorf Passage.

Marija Dejanović
Marija Dejanović
Marija Dejanović has published poetry, essays and literary criticism in various magazines. For her books, she was awarded the Goran Poetry Prize, the Kvirin Award for young poets, and the Zdravko Pucak Award for best unpublished poetry manuscript by a young author. She has participated in interdisciplinary performances and was the deputy director of the Thessalian Poetry Festival in Greece.

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