Three or four children

More or less here not long ago there were some children
three or four children more or less right there
There must have been children there's so much sun
here where the wind sometimes flagellates the summer
and children in the summer here on the hill
children who are the wind's victims
and sometimes my virtual victims
victims right now of my eyes that don't see them now
children in crisis all covered with dust
pure dust stirred up for a moment by the wind
children who can be led by a single thought
children who are defined by their growth
who sometimes completely consist in contentment
children like reeds that lightly bend in the wind
of the moment children now concentrated here
now springing up over there forever self-detached
almost weightless almost footless children
swaying on stalks in the wind
and sometimes wrapped in its cloak as if by magic
children things we almost only think of
things we sometimes doubt
things we're not quite sure exist
seeming to be one moment seeming not to be the next
being perhaps living victims of doubt
children scarcely more than doubts
who were here who aren't here
who weren't here even when they were here
who at most may perhaps have been here
in the wind within this summer
children things that fly things that take flight
birds with lightish eyes three or four voices
three or four notes from the time the wind blew
children three or four moments in all
three or four houses in the wind
houses raised on high that promptly fall
whitewashed fallen-down houses
three or four nothings in all
reeds I just now saw bending in their fragile lives
already vanished from my sight
three or four children absorbed in their lives
each one hardly anything three
or four children three or four times life
Here's this mound here there were there must have been
three or four who were there three or four whom I saw I heard
things I saw things I perhaps saw
scarcely more than a gesture
scarcely more than a moment in this month of august
I'm no longer sure if I saw them if I didn't seem them
it seems there were some children more or less here

Translation: 2005, Richard Zenith

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