The Children

By Eugénio de Andrade 1923–2005 Eugenio de Andrade

Translated from the Portuguese by Atsuro Riley Read the translator's notes

Children grow in secret. They hide themselves in the depths and darker reaches of the house to become wild cats, white birches.

One day when you’re only half-watching the herd as it straggles back in with the afternoon dust, one child, the prettiest of them all, comes close and rises up on tiptoe to whisper I love you, I’ll be waiting for you in the hay.

Shaking some, you go to find your shotgun; you spend what’s left of the day firing at rooks and jackdaws, uncountable at this hour, and crows.

Source: Poetry (June 2011).

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Poet Eugénio de Andrade 1923–2005

Subjects Living, Youth, Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Prose Poem