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Avrom Sutzkever

Translated from the Yiddish by Chana Bloch

In the Satchel of the Wind

A barefoot tramp on a stone
In evening gold
Shakes off the dust of the world.
Suddenly, out of the forest
Darts a bird
And snatches up the last scrap of sun.

And there's a willow by the river, too.

A road.
A field.
A quivering meadow.
Secret footsteps
Of hungry clouds.
Where are the hands that create wonders?

And there’s a lively fiddle, too.

So what’s left to do at a moment like that,
O my world of a thousand colors,
Except
To gather into the satchel of the wind
That red beauty
And bring it home for evening bread?

And there’s desolation like a mountain, too.

       —1935