I’m fed up with farewells. All those little
deaths time and time again: when you try
to touch them they recoil like a small animal
that does not know you.
Elder in a Garden
Truly, my heart stops whenever I see the garden again
and the elder flowering into the timeless night
and the path which I knew runs across
the common but did not know
where it ends.
Beside the path grew coltsfoot, nettles, and cherries
washed by dew or by rain. If I looked I might
see the ants up the tree and the cat’s eyes
in the grass or a bird in the greenery –
now turned white
by the moonlight or by the trees that glow in the dark.
There we were, still a couple, casting no shadow,
weightless beyond explanation. Yet the sense
of our presence was so strong
that after a while,
when the moment passed (and the two of us with it),
it seemed a sign that we, for the first time there,
should stop on our way home, amazed
under the elder tree, somehow
known to us both.