before summer rain :: rainer maria rilke

translated by Jay Hopler

And just like that, from all the green in the garden,
you don’t know what, some…thing, is taken away;
you feel it come near the window
and be quiet. From the hedgerow

is heard the call of the plover, as plaintive
as it is strong. You think of Jerome:
there is in this one voice such an intense loneliness,
only a downpour

could answer it. The chamber walls
with their pictures of us step away, so as not to overhear our conversation.
And the faded wallpaper shines

with the uncertain light of those
childhood afternoons, in which you were
so very, very scared.