The hope a mooncalf follows
is sacrifice for slaughter,
and yet the wings of swallows
still skip across the water. 

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The Birch

The birch beneath
My windowsill
Stands like a wreath
In the silver chill
Of winter, white
In the faint glow
Of early light
And softest snow.
The birch still yields
Stars at this time,
Though over fields
Sun breaks through rime.
Dawn wakes the grounds
And sleeping ploughs,
But makes its rounds
Through silver boughs.
after the Russian of Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925)
translated by Leo Yankevich
first appeared in Trinacria
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© by Leo Yankevich