Wild blue-necked ducks
Shy mudhens with russet crowns
Quietly feeding on the edge of the brook
Who skitter off at the slightest sound
Among the reeds near the sluice-gate
The mudhens race to hide away
The wild duck dives into the water
Its plunge fractures the mirror
Shatters the lake’s clear picture
Destroys the reflection of the white clouds
Tall masts of the straight poplars
Swaying gently in the breeze
And the half-image of the old roman bridge
Between the willows and the ash trees.
[2 February] 1968.
Translated by Lenora Timm