Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Yannis Ritsos

At the next table, tobacco sellers talked—
hairy hands, clouded drinking glasses. Flies
stuck in clusters on the paper. Beneath the serving window
a dropcloth with a tuft of hair. In the window
a soiled piece of sky, a cloud
held in place by five rusty nails.
“Child, child,” (it wasn’t even his own voice). An old woman
limped in the door; she winked knowingly—
in her bottom jaw, a large rotten tooth.
Then the door was heard being nailed up from the outside.

May 19, 1968
Partheni concentration camp

from Stones [Collected Poems: I ]

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