On seeing Munch’s The Scream

by Christine De Luca

On seeing Munch’s The Scream

Palms cupped over ears, she lets out
an unholy screech; the heavens a
whirl of bloodred, the fiord iceblue,
everything quivering. The brush
in Munch’s hand surely
trembled as he painted the girl
who was screaming, caught her
conundrums of existence,
matching them with his own
in swirling firebrands.

I wonder
did I scream that day
of the lightning storm?
A sudden wind shook the oats.
Dad sent us packing from the field

‘Run home!’ I was the little one
stumbling behind.

I’m hearing again Thor’s cymbals clash,
seeing the lightning as it flamed
before my eyes; no summer flickers
but cloven tongues; a Pentecost
I could have done without.
I doubt if any sound came out,
but fire is seared
on my memory.
I clapped my hands
over my ears,
shaped my mouth,
and held my breath as I dashed.

On seein Munch’s The Scream

Löfs owre lugs, shö lats oot
a unholy screech; da heevins a
birl o blödred, da fiord iceblue,
aathin mirlin. Da brush
athin Munch’s haand shurley
trimmeled as he paintit da lass
at wis screamin, catcht her
conundrums o existence,
matchin dem wi his ain
in swirlin tengs o fire.

I winder
did I scream dat day
o da lichtnin storm?
A sudden wind reeseled da coarn.
Dad skoomed wis fae da yerd
Rin haem!’ I wis da peerie ting
stotterin ahint.

A’m hearin again Thor’s cymbals clash,
seein da lichtnin as hit flamed
afore mi een; nae simmer blinks
but cloven tongues; a Pentecost
1 coulda dön ithoot.
I doot nae soond cam oot,
but fire is seared
apö mi memory.
I clappit mi haands
owre mi lugs,
shapit mi mooth,
an hüld mi breath as I dashed.