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from the September 2011 issue


And of course the birds go on chirping, and how!
Even if they’re not chirping.
Bah, wires can chirp almost as well,
so it’s easy to confuse them. It’s altogether loud
and sensuous, almost phonetic.
And the flowers blossom to make things colorful,
and later wither, first on the graves, but they’re bent
out of shape there, mostly due to us
passing by on the paths between the trees
as if nothing had happened.
And no way to avoid the brown-eyed gaze of the pansies,
which have all but disappeared now from the flower beds,
forced out by nasturtiums and marigolds. No flower beds either.
All the hazel eyes are rotting now underground.

Translation of "Podsłuch." Copyright Piotr Sommer. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by W. Martin and Christian Hawkey. All rights reserved.

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