Face to Face
Translated from the Swedish by Robin Robertson
In February life stood still.
The birds refused to fly and the soul
grated against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the jetty where it’s moored.
The trees were turned away. The snow’s depth
measured by the stubble poking through.
The footprints grew old out on the ice-crust.
Under a tarpaulin, language was being broken down.
Suddenly, something approaches the window.
I stop working and look up.
The colours blaze. Everything turns around.
The earth and I spring at each other.
© Robin Robertson
Photograph © Hunter Desportes, Winter in Denmark, 1987