Vitomirka Trebovac

Vitomirka Trebovac, born 1980 in Novi Sad, has published two poetry books, Plavo u boji (Blue in Colour, 2011) and Sve drveće, sva deca i svi bicikli u meni (All the Trees, Kids, and Bicycles Within Me, 2017). Together with Jelena Anđelovski she edited a book of poetry Ovo nije dom (This Is Not Home, 2017). She works in a bookstore and at the publishing centre Bulevar Books in Novi Sad.





Selected Poems 



in front of the 
‘olga petrov’ 
retirement home 
a man kissed
a woman’s hand
she raised her head 
and he blushed
and what happened after
I don’t know
because the wheels of  my bicycle 
are big 
and I’m
already in another part of town.
here it begins to rain lightly and
there is the stink of mcdonalds
a girl plays accordion in front of it
stiff families eye her  suspiciously. 
I would crush 
them with my big bicycle, 
but I am polite as well
my upbringing does not let me
cause any issues.


some woman reading proust

in a tram in gdansk

and a fat cat who 

ate my pancakes when

I was a child

I will not forget

how mom screamed

when they told her something over the phone 

and the view

of the skyscrapers from  some hotel 

I will never  forget

the waiting line for visas

and how we played frisbee

drunk in a park  in berlin

before dawn

then I will never forget

how they helped uncle to escape the army 

because the war began

and my grandma’s hands shaking

I will never forget when sara was born 

and I was at the pool

first second third 


I will not forget

when I saw you 

on the staircase of the bookstore. 




maybe I’ve already said

that I had three friends

one liked Russians

one Americans 

and the third  was so-so

he didn’t know whether to go

left or right 

and he’s still like that


once when we 

were children

I beat them in a street race 

to the lamppost

(and they were in a good shape) 

I touched the post and  collapsed. 

now I have a scar,  a small one, 

in the middle of my forehead

I wear it like a trophy through life.



s. and I wandered away a couple of times

yesterday at the cemetery 

and we barely made it to the funeral.

we took a strange route

three kilometers on foot

through terrible mud

and we mostly talked about

gaudy gravestones

odd last names

about the fight from the previous day 

he said that

the grass is really nice here

and I agreed

but the whole time 

we were walking 

I was thinking

how the saddest thing in death 

is not the death itself 

but a sunny day

compared to a dark grave.



maybe one should not write 

about old age 

and about me  bathing you 

and how you were ashamed

because I touched

your decayed body and freckled skin

with your downcast eyes


you suddenly

talked about how your  feet 

were small and charming

and how now

one should die

but not even that is easy

while you were talking

the smell of a sharpened pencil 

overtook me

and I see my childhood self at once 

I’m sitting at my desk,

sharpening my pencil,

but the lead keeps falling out

then I remember

that my feet today

are small and charming

I got that from you

I thought

I shut the water off

and hug your 


weak body

my grandmother little girl

maybe this is not

a poem about old age. 



Translated by Tamara Božić