(1955 / Istanbul)

The Red Awning

With my respects to Thomas Hardy

Was there something, some day,
somewhere, some time, I could have said
which could have made it all otherwise?

Some evening, for instance,
when our eyes met over dinner,
was there something I failed to express

and which, had I said it,
would have caused her to love me more,
and longer, but that I did not think to say?

Or something I could have done
but, considering it needless, failed to:
a show of affection, a sign of contrition,

a tear or two, some excessive warmth?
Caught one day in a cloudburst
and forced under a red-striped awning,

a kiss rose inside me, but the rain stopped.
Could it all have since been otherwise
had it rained for a minute more?

Translation: 2014, Roni Margulies

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