Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Shadows of Birds: 56-57

Yannis Ritsos

Faces hands feel their way
eyes feel their way secretly
they had promised the others
on the street they lit matches
looked at their watch
already it was evening
an evening with posters and rental signs
with lit up street lamps
and the youngest dead
at the bus stops
along with Paskos
barely old enough to grow a mustache
what do you want? — he said —
I no longer sleep with women
I kicked the dry branch
I entered the house
very white very dark
not even one lamp.

The moon in the puddle
passing headlights of automobiles
trees suddenly splashed with light
a fragrant dampness
all stopped
at the same time
nothing their return unforeseen
only that beneath the plane trees
red chairs are present
red tables
and lamps in leaves
and still fluttering from the balcony
your mother's black handkerchief
my child — she said —
he embraced the tree
and wept.

Agrinion—May 30, 1980

from The Shadows of Birds (1980) [Collected Poems: IDelta ---pg 368-369]

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