Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume II, Second Edition


The houses where young children died have become holy.

Shadows freeze and multiply in the hallways.

A glass, forgotten on the table, resembles a chalice.

A towel that hangs from a nail is a greeting from afar

and the talkative distance hides behind it. At night, when

            they turn the lights off,

the flame of a cigarette, all alone in the mirror,

resembles the lonely fire the dead children have put on

           at the far end of the Saint John field. And still

the crawl of a small cockroach on the newspaper that

fell on the floor resembles a small car that passes

the tunnel bringing a concealed official tiding.



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