States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'The Silence of Siskins' by Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic arrived in Australia in 1993 during the collapse of Yugoslavia. She writes in Serbian and in English. In 2014 she was a


for my grandfather


He circles my arrival
on the calendar.

It is late November
and it doesn't snow.

A wooden pallet
hardens his bed.

He dreams of grandmother.
He doesn't want new dreams.

Two siskins in cages –
their song frozen like the air

that other November
when she lost her heart

cleaning and baking
for those who might arrive.

Above the fireplace a few flies
are nervous company.

'Not easy on earth,' he says,
'not easy below.'


Jelena Dinic