Tomorrow Triumphant

Flowers in Berlin
when autumn arrives
barking in yellow.
Some remain,
they are valiant
and bold,
but can withstand
very little
of the chilly winter wind.

Then nothing is left,
only snow and more snow.

In people’s memory
colors then begin
to turn grey,
and one would gladly give
a little of one’s long sadness
for just a few tulips.

That’s winter
in Berlin,
you tell me,
and your hand searches
in my hair
for the point of a bright star
missing from your story.

Will we be
without flowers for long?
I ask, and for the first time
in all these years
flowers acquire
an importance for me that
I always denied them, doubtless
because of my own stupidity.

Now that snow will be the norm
we will be without flowers
for a long time, you respond,
and your face gives me
so much joy
that I scarcely notice
the absence of the full-blown flower.

Suddenly your words
stab me blindly
I have heard, you tell me,
that springtime in your country
is an eternal and joyful event.

Wounded as I am, then,
by such distance, I answer
quickly. It’s true,
I say, whatever the season
the flowers in my country
are like hunger:
they endure all year.
And you only respond: my love,
put on your coat, you are
surely much too cold.

  • trans. by Tina Avila