(1955 / Istanbul)

Ancient River

The Maas is the oldest river in the world.
It has flowed now for about a million years.
I never knew, they can apparently tell
the age of rivers, like that of men.

It is born in France, baptised as the Meuse,
wanders into Belgium, meanders for a while,
then winds into Holland to meet the North Sea.
These thoughts came to me in the lift.

I got off on the eleventh floor,
and three lands, 900 kms, a million years
and uncountable tonnes of cascading water
walked with me into my room.

Translation: 2014, Roni Margulies

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