The Children

Children grow in secret. They hide themselves in the depths and darker reaches of the house to become wild cats, white birches.

One day when you're only half-watching the herd as it straggles back in with the afternoon dust, one child, the prettiest of them all, comes close and rises up on tiptoe to whisper I love you, I'll be waiting for you in the hay.

Shaking some, you go to find your shotgun; you spend what's left of the day firing at rooks and jackdaws, uncountable at this hour, and crows.

TRANSLATED FROM THE PORTUGUESE BY ATSURO RILEY

by Eugénio de Andrade

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