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Rúfus, Milan: Mother (Matka in English)

Portre of Rúfus, Milan

Matka (Slovak)

Po strmých schodoch do neba
stúpajú matky. Jednou rukou v chlebe,
tou druhou pripaľujú sviečočku
pod nosom najmladšieho.

A po všetkom, keď už sa stáva z nich
len pláštik spomienky, na odchod prehodený
cez plece samôt
– vždy ešte matky a dávno už nie ženy –
košeľu veľkých smutných detí pohladia
tak náruživo ako v baladách

pohládza milá milého
šabličkou, šabľou sťatého...

Source of the quotationDielo I. MilaniuM 2002, s. 196

Mother (English)

Up the steep steps to heaven
climb the mothers. One hand in the bread-dough,
the other always lighting a candle
under the nose of their youngest.

And after everything, when they’ve become no more
than a cloak of memories thrown for departure
over the shoulders of loneliness
- always still mothers but long since not women –
they caress the shirt of their grown sad children
as passionately as in ballads

a girl caresses her lover
beheaded by the blank sword...

Source of the quotationSister Hope. Poems in Eglish