National Insecurity

The Under Secretary leans forward and draws an X
and her ear-drops dangle like swords of Damocles.

As a mottled butterfly is invisible against the ground
so the demon merges with the opened newspaper.

A helmet worn by no one has taken power.
The mother-turtle flees flying under the water.

“National Insecurity” from New and Collected Poems by Tomas Transtromer, translated by Robin Fulton. Published in 1997 by Bloodaxe Books. www.bloodaxebooks.com
Source: New and Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1997)
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