Facebook Twitter

Time Was

Gabriel Ferater

Let me escape into your old domain.
Our ghosts still drift about the usual place.
I see the winter sky, the metal footbridge
with its blackened struts, the scurf of grass
along the burnt-up track. I hear the express whistle.
Its gathering thunder rocks the ground we stand on
till we have to shout. We watch it pass.
Your soundless laughter sets me laughing too.
I see your dove-grey blouse, the blue
of your short flared skirt, the red scarf bunched
around your neck, the one I used to call
your country’s flag.
All’s as it was that day. The words we said
come back, and now, the one bad moment.
Something has silenced us. You’ve hurt your hand.
Remember how it fluttered and hung limp,
nervously fingering your cycle bell.
It’s just as well we’re interrupted.
Now, as before, the tramp of metal heels,
the outsize chant of men in battle dress,
steel-helmeted, surrounds us. A command
darts out like the savage glitter of a snake,
and we hide our faces in the lap of fear
till they have passed. Now we’ve forgotten
how we were: their unreflecting movement
restores us to ourselves, and we are glad
to be together in this place, not caring if we speak.
So we may kiss. We’re young: those distant silences
have no authority;
the fear of others kills our private fears.
Freewheeling down the avenue, we feel the cold
as each tree spreads its heavy mass of shade.
We glide from chill to chill, unconsciously.

FERRATER, Gabriel. Women and days. Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2004
Traduït per Arthur Terry
Amb el suport de: