Tomorrow Triumphant

RETURN TO THE SMILE
The children
born
at the end
of the century
will be joyful.

(Their smiles
are the collective
smile.)

I,
a man struggling
in the middle of the century
say: at the end of it
the children will be joyful,
will return once again to laughter,
be born again in gardens.
From
my bitter darkness
I emerge and project
from my hard times
and I see the end
of the wave:
happy children,
only happy!,
appearing
and rising
like a sun of butterflies
after a heavy tropical
shower.
The children
have inundated
the world
with their song:
I see it today,
1957, in the middle
of the 20th century
in a distant
American country,
in the corn’s cradle.
From my rugged time
I see a child’s face
inundated with great
collective and wild happiness.
I see happy children
surrounded by examiners;
hungry cops
and fearful functionaries
and
I
am happy in my everyday prison
filled with house and streets,
whips and hunger
because I see the sunrise
full of flowers, tinsel and toys.
I’m happy for the future child
whose agile new stature
I carry and guard
in my pauper’s
heart.
I’m happy with my joy
because nothing can stop
the children born
at the end of the 20th century
from living under different conditions,
under another, profound wind.

I’m happy for the future child
of the world and I proclaim it with great
shouts full of universal joy.

  • trans. by Jack Hirschman