C H I L D R E N' S H A I R
Soft hair, hair that is all the softness of the world: without you lying in my
lap, what silk would I enjoy? Sweet the passing day because of that silk, sweet
the sustenance, sweet the ancient sadness, at least for the few hours it slips
between my hands.
Touch it to my cheek; wind it in my lap like flowers; let me braid it, to
soften my pain, to magnify the light with it, now that it is dying.
When I am with God someday, I do not want an angel's wing to cool my
heart's bruise; I want, stretched against the sky, the hair of the children I
loved, to let it blow in the wind against my face eternally!
translated by Stephen Tapscott
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRESS, 2002
Born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga in Vicuna, Chile, in the Equil Valley, April 7, 1889
There are some lovely prose poems in this collection by Mistral to Alfonsina Storni, Pablo Neruda, Rainer Maria Rilke — not to be missed.