The tugboat is freckled with rust. What is it doing so far inland?
It’s a heavy burnt-out lamp, tipped over in the cold.
But the trees still carry colors – wild signals to the other shore as if
someone wanted to be fetched home.
On the way back, I see mushrooms pushing up through the grass.
Stretching for help, these white fingers belong
to someone who sobs down there in the darkness.
We belong to the earth.
A version in English by Robin Robertson. © Robin Robertson
Robin Robertson’s book of free versions of Tomas Tranströmer’s poems, The Deleted World, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His fourth collection, The Wrecking Light, was published in the US this year.
This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.