Tuesday Poem

Albinas Žukauskas

Well, maybe now, towards autumn,
In the dusk, when in my father’s orchard
A giant moon hangs on above the fence,
When from the boughs Newtonian apples plop into the grass –
Maybe you’ll come and ask me,
While I keep watch over the place for apple thieves,
To shake into your lap
Some of the very best sweet apples?
Maybe you’ll come now after all?
I only want to see whether you’re still as stupid
As that time, many years ago,
Whether you still can stay so long behind the orchard fence
Holding a lapful of sweet apples?
I want to see
Whether I am as stupid as I was
So many years ago.
Will I, like then, benumbed and lost in wonder,
Keep staring at you from behind the fence,
Both motionless and speechless,
Pervaded by the blazing giant moon
And by the scent of the sweet apples in your lap?
I want to see
Whether we both will, like two fools,
Stare at each other until midnight,
When you at last come to yourself, stir up
And, lowering your eyes, breathe out:
“My goodness, it is late,
I must be off now… It’s already dark.
And Mummy – God forbid! – will wake to look for me.”
Yet do come, anyway!
I only want to see
Whether we both are still as stupid
As that time, many years ago,
Whether, like then, beside the fence
Under the big full moon
We’ll stare benumbed and speechless
Until the very midnight,
Until the first night cockcrow!

Oh, hang it all!
I’m sorry, dear, I’ve clean forgotten
That the old fence has long since fallen down,
And it’s a long time since you are no more.
All that is left here is the giant moon,
An indistinct scent of sweet apples,
And me, of course,
That’s all.

Translated by Lionginas Pažūsis