Tomorrow Triumphant

IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR
In wakefulness and sleep
we exhaust the time
that is given us on earth.
Little by little we turn
ashen, from our skin to our souls.
Each day arrives more filled with sorrow
and we can’t avoid its blind step.
Each of our everyday gestures
brings us closer to trouble death.
In front of the mirror we suddenly
discover our age.
With so many suns and rains
accumulated in our faces
we could illuminate
all shadows
and irrigate all deserts.
Each candle arriving
is a year departing.
Long and bitter is the path
from the cradle to the grave.
But without exaggerating,
we also live sweet
and pleasant moments.

It’s fallen to us to live
in the most bitter time
of all.

If I could name
the twentieth century, I’d call it:
combat. And afterwards I’d cry.
So many things died
in our hands and our souls
so that other might live,
that I can shout with pride
to the people of the year two thousand:
Love us a bit more
we’re still suffering
our unfinished lives.

We think so many things
in front of the mirror
when we discover the age
of our hair
and we see the moons
hidden there,
we can console ourselves,
saying or writing:
tomorrow
our friends will love
the ashes of their friends
still
smoking with protests.

And later we can laugh
in our own time
and continue living,
not thinking of the cold
that awaits us
anywhere
to seal our souls
with purple fingers.

  • trans. by Barbara Paschke