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 Moment

What matter that it’s passing? That it passes?
Moments exist if only to pass by,
Hardly mine, no longer anyone else’s,
Like cloudy masterpieces in the sky.

Though everything perpetually changes,
And moments are replaced by moments waiting,
Always in lakes among the masterpieces
Either stars or pretty girls are bathing.

after the Polish of Leopold Staff (1878-1957)
translated by Leo Yankevich
first appeared in Iambs & Trochees

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© by Leo Yankevich