Jaan Kaplinski

1941 / Tartu, Estonia

The lilac

The lilac branches are swaying in the wind
and shadows creep across the floor from the open balcony door,
swaying too. Today I washed the windows
and was sad for a long time: suddenly everything
was so close by, so clear, so much here and now,
that my own being distant became more evident,
more desolate. Is it really only in a forest
in the late autumn that I've met friends, chickadees and spruce?
Have I met myself there? Where does this sadness come from?
The sun moves on, The wind dies down.
The shadows of the lilac branches keep swaying on the bookshelf
before vanishing.
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