Thursday, November 2, 2023



Is this Orlando's oak or are these oaks from Austin?

Is this Hudson's ombu or the one beside the car

that dragged Julio-my-almost brother from life?

Paz's banyan tree, that was also Shakuntala's?

The willows of Garcilaso? The one that I myself planted?

Poplars of love, or that one in winter

from which half-dead birds fell at my feet?

Trusty figs, among the dust and gardens?

That axis in the tropism of infinite moons,

a pale eucalyptus of perfumed down?

Those with lacquer-red flowers under fiery suns?

The birch/abedul I imagined black, for the ebony/abenuz,

until I touched its white, ringed bark?

The essential tree of Goethe's imagination?

Or the one in whose shade I lost the world

that was itself a murmur of friendly voices

and I see a river flow that is the same always,

whereas I watch it and am no longer the same?


Ida Vitale

Time Without Keys

Translated by Sarah Pollack

New Directions, 2023

Happy Birthday!