Zoë Translates

Poems, original and translated.

Aubade (of the roads)

Nothing quite prepared us for this, but here we are.
You lie asleep in the back seats, and all I see,
Through the rear mirror, are empty roads unfolding.
Turning off the headlights, as golden solar rays
Are about to fall from the sparsely-clouded sky,
I drive on, not too fast, in the wordless morning.

My eyes and feet are weary: They still remember
The star-strewn darkness, the unwatched land, how we found
Belonging, loneliness, passion, and how and why
We utterly gave in to each other, trembling
From the cold air of the night, and with the knowledge
That for a moment or two we were safe and free.

The engine whirls. No need to hasten or tarry.
We are on the right road, and neither of us know
How many days or years it’ll take till we make it.
And right now, in this hour smelling of soil and dew,
Before you slowly waken to gentle skylight,
We’re together, and this is all that really counts.

Ahead, barbed wires and checkpoints are still expected.
We risk shortage of fuel, meds, water, underwear…
Maybe courage, faith, and crystal-clear desire, too.
Next we’ll stop by some place, to rest a bit and heal,
To do what we should and it will be beautiful,
And take turns to carry forward each other’s dream.