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