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from the November 2011 issue

Sketch in October

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.

Read more from the November 2011 issue
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