Gemlike the air, the sun so bright above
you look for blossoms on the apricot trees,
recall the bitter whitethorn scent you love
and sniff the breeze.
But the whitethorn’s withered, the brittle boughs
hatch their black schemes against the empty blue,
and the earth rings hollow now beneath the blows
of every shoe.
Around you, silence, but for sighs that spill
in upon every gust, from grove and wood:
frail settlements of leaves. This is the chill
summer of the dead.
Translated by Geoffrey Brock