Rúfus, Milan: Mother (Matka in English)
Po strmých schodoch do neba
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...