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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Distant Footsteps

by Cesare Vallejo
My father is sleeping. His noble face
suggests a mild heart;
He is so sweet now....
If anything bitter is in him, I must be the bitterness.

There is a loneliness in the parlour; they are praying;
And there is no news of the children today.
My father wakes, he listens
for the flight into Egypt, the good-bye that dresses
wounds.
Now he is so near;
If anything distant is in him, I must be the distance.
And my mother walks past in the orchard,
savouring a taste without savour.
Now he is so gentle,
So much wing, so much farewell, so much love.
There is loneliness in the parlour with no sound,
no news, no greenness, no childhood.
And if something is broken this afternoon,
And if something descends or creaks,
It is two old roads, curving and white
Down them my heart is walking on foot.