diumenge, de febrer 19, 2006

Springtide of Your Demise (English)

It won't be long now
the days are growing longer
the earth is thawing quickly from its fitful slumber
soon it will be time to bury you again
I have buried you every year since 1994
twelve years I have lowered your body into the thawing grounds of our ancestors
a year for every apostle
three times the perfect Daoist number
four times the sacred Celtic number
and yet I cannot fathom that twelve more won't come
and I will not do the same
if I breathe another twelve
I will hold your hand on your deathbed
I will kiss your hollowed cheek
I will look into your blank eyes
I will recall your disconnected voice
artifact from your living time
crack crack crackling on the magnetic tape
I will remember how we mourned the others' passing together
how we hugged and kissed and never parted without saying
very simply
"I love you."
My mother will soon join you in the earth's embrace
then there will be no one left who really remembers you
but me
Me, all alone, to remember all those tales
all those times
all that love
Me to be what I never thought I really would be
"The Last Leaf on the Tree"

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
"They are gone!"

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said--
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago--
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1895