The Girl by Green River

I stopped by her door for a drink of water.
It was a little house, just a few steps from the bridge.
She was a young girl,
And lived alone without a husband.
 Anonymous (Transl. by Kenneth Rexroth)


Pigeon wings flap and crack
like wet washing in a wind
while the house dozes on.
I slip and scatter gravel
at your door.

In a wingbeat
shutters let out the night,
they creak a little on their hooks.
Willows are already
washing their leaves.
The pigeons have gone.

You carry water
in an ornamental bowl,
if I do not take it your arms will fail.

And still you come
to pour water in my mouth.
I drink your reflection.
You are as dear as rain.