(1952 / Gent)

Sycamores At NÎMES Station

their skin was beginning to wrinkle
they were growing old and would die
as we would but without fear
as if they were in on something
and we were not

already our parting was approaching
storm cloud, derailed trains
uncertainty there always was
certainty one might achieve
but how, how
to become like the trees

I felt that I would write
(because everything was always
as it could not remain)
of how we sat here
on a bench beneath sycamores
the sun shining, a dog barking
and chasing pigeons

Translated by Judith Wilkinson

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