Wednesday Poem


You think I’ve finally arrived, but these
are only the first heavy footsteps of rain.

You think it’s a new sorrow, but it’s
only a whitewashed wall from time immemorial.

It’s temptation twisting and turning, you think,
but it’s only a silken paper snake.

You think it’s a single gun shot,
but only the wind slamming a door.

You think it’s me,
but it’s only me.

by Dan Pagis
from Kol Hashirim Dan Pagis
publisher Hakibbutz Hameuchad and the Bialik Institute
Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, © 1991
translation: 2010, Lisa Katz