The dirt road to Baita Segantini near Passo Rolle, Trentino, Italy

 Down The Homestretch


It’s next to

impossible to know beforehand

whether tears or a smile will come more naturally

the exact moment when—the green days long gone and

the gold ones speeding away—one feels like turning back to

watch the distance covered, contemplate it, rejoice about the

pace having never been too fast, regret it hasn’t been slow

enough. And the dust raised all along—still hovering—

impedes one’s sight: it’s no use straining the eyes,

one had better desist, forget, look



Thus there

will be no turmoil when—finally facing

the mirror at the end of the course, beyond which

nothing and everything coincide, the brown days down to

fumes as well—in the eyes glossy with disenchantment both

the winner and the loser can be seen. By force of habit one will

shrug one’s shoulders, drop one’s gaze, take one more step—

the final one—as if it were just one out of millions, unless

the very first indeed. No one will even deign to say

goodbye or leave a note—that’s all

there is to it.




First published in Other Poetry  (UK)