Anniversary Mass Poem by Ruy Belo

Anniversary Mass

Rating: 4.0


It's been one year since your steps
last walked in our parish
Where do you who belonged to these fields
whose wheat is again turning ripe
belong now?
What's your new name?
Can there be a more unusual weekend
than a saturday like this one that never ends?
How do you fill your time
now that all the time ahead of you is free?
What sort of steps might take you
behind the cooing of a dove in our skies?
Why have you never again had a birthday
even though the table is set and waiting for you
and the mulberry trees along the road are in bloom again?

That's what his voice was like that's how he talked
says the yellow-flowered broom that grows here
and that saw him walk on the pathways of childhood
next to his first flight of partridges

Now only in our neckties do we take you who are dead
to those paths where you left the mark of your feet
Only in our neckties. Your death
has stopped dressing us up completely
The summer you departed I clearly remember
thinking profound things
It's summer again. You have ever less place
in this corner of us where every year
we will piously unearth you
Until the death of your death

Translation: 1997, Richard Zenith

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