The lines in the hands of old people
gradually curve over and will point soon toward earth.
They take with them their secret language,
cloud-words and wind-letters,
all the signs the heart gathers up in the lean year.
Sorrow bleaches out and turns to face the stars
but memories of horses, women’s feet, children
flow from old people’s faces down to the grass kingdom.
In huge trees we can often see
images of the peace in the sides of animals,
and the wind sketches in the grass, if you are happy,
running children and horses.
translated by Robert Bly