Reva Kern

The Escape - Poem by Reva Kern

It is towards the boat
the lover queen flees -
The old noble king is coming
His elegant coat covering jewels
Which jingle with each step
With an elegiac cadence -

The song of the oarsmen on the waves beckons
The queen and her lover listen,
their eyes closed
Without fear of a reef
Or a siren's song
Which perhaps enchants
with the choir of the sailors -

Horror! Our jewels
Fallen into the sea
Float like flowers
Like red hair
Like floating oars
Among a swarm of purple jellyfish -

The hour of flight is dark and purple from terror
So many of the gems fell from the coat of the old king -

Thirty years standing at the border
I stopped the smuggler
I frisked the smuggler -
Then when I became sergeant
One night on the train for ten hours
A decent man traveling with a permit
I felt his hunchback -

O distant time! Distant railway stations
The light from the gas-lamps was poor
The man carried four thousand cigars
I drew up a conversation
The time passed
The names: Gaugin, Cezanne haunted me -
For their art I left at the customs house

And guarding this nickname: customs officer
I am not one of these painters, the last one
Now in my memory
A window opens
I recognize the proud old traveler
To have avenged
Because it's my fault
He traveled poorly.

This is a translation of the poem La Fuite by Guillaume Apollinaire

Topic(s) of this poem: remember

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Poem Edited: Saturday, May 5, 2018

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