by Alex Valente

Original Italian ‘Le Montagne’, by Antonia Pozzi (1912-1938)

Like immense women taking over the evening:
stone hands folded on their chest
they stare at crossroads, silent
in the endless hope of returns.

Silent as they grow children
to the absent. (Sails they called that
in the distance – or battles. So blue and red
was the earth to them.) A crumbling now
of treading on gravel
shocks their giant shoulders. The sky
beats its white lashes, startled.

Mothers. And they stand at the front, pulling
from their vast eyes the branches of stars:
if at the final stretch of the wait
a dawn might rise

and a rosebush bloom to the bare womb.

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