Wednesday Poem

The Water Wheel

The afternoon arrived
mournful and dusty

The water was composing
its countrified poem
in the buckets
of the lazy water wheel.

The mule was dreaming—
old and sad mule!
in time to the darkness
that was talking in the water.

The afternoon arrived
mournful and dusty.

I don’t know which noble
and religious poet
joined the anguish
of the endless wheel

to the cheerful music
of the dreaming water,
and bandaged your eyes—
old and sad mule . . .

But it must have been a noble
and religious poet,
a heart made mature
by darkness and art.

by Antonio Machado
Times Alone
Wesleyan University Press, 1989