melting & burning


IN SULLIVAN COUNTY – Celia Dropkin
November 2, 2013, 7:04 am
Filed under: poem | Tags: ,

1

Today in the first light hour after the rain,
the sun shines calmly, softly on me.
The fields in the valleys of Sullivan County
stretch far from the narrow path.
Somewhere out there trees turn blue
on the mountainside. The fields are sown
with raspberries, but it’s often not easy
to eat enough of them: you quickly lose yourself
in a labyrinth of outstretched green stabbing arms,
a braided, thorny wall of branches.
Yet after the rain there are tons of raspberries.
The sun shines calmly, softly on me.
Fresh milk awaits, but I don’t hurry to the farm.
My arm tears on the jagged twigs.

2

Yellow and red mosaic of fields,
cultivated rows of trees—
here and there a lone tree.
You can barely see the mountain.
A world hemmed in by trees,
the mountain obscured by fog.

3

No mountains—this is better.
The horizon gets farther, bigger,
in the soft distance.
My soul wanders, aimless.
In the soft distance, it blurs
and lightens. The whole world
swims in a tender gray.

No world—this is better.
My eye gentler, bigger.
In the tender gray,
no world, no earth.
In the tender gray,
I swim undisturbed.

4

I went up on the mountain and saw
fields like golden rivers
and trees on them like sails on ships:
green sails on golden rivers.
Close, in a deep, green abyss,
the road wound through the endless
seeming forest—a pink serpent
twisting between green sails of ships.
How insignificant, how small
was my valley, my little green valley:
it carried to me, as on wings of wind,
a lamenting sound.
My baby was calling to me.
But I was welded to the mountain,
and for a long time sorrow swung around me
and for a long time the baby cried and called out
until the valley heard my steps again.

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