Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Mulberry trees are a big part of my childhood memories, the taste and stain of them, the way their delicateness bursts in your mouth. And their tight-bunched shape, darkening from green to red to black with ripeness. I've rarely ever seen them afterwards.


You traced this simple gesture with your hand:
you raised it to your face,
you stretched it towards my window,
as I was driving: I looked,
and against the hazy morning
light I counted them:

eight, eight mulberries with outspread branches
like the tail of a stuffed peacock,
a procession along the line
of our gaze, so perfect
that for a moment I forgot
time-tables and connections
and I slowed down to comprehend
how one might say of eight trees in a row,

'Look, how beautiful!' just as you said,
even if they had not decided to be that way, how everything
might just be a chain of senseless alternation,

and how a gesture of the hand and a smile
are enough to make, out of eight trees
in a row, an illusion of redemption.

Massimo Gezzi, Excerpts from 'The Moment After'

Translated from the Italian by Damiano Abeni and Moira Egan

1 comment:

Andrew Downs said...

Larkin never used the mower again after killing the hedgehog.
Unlike you I never tasted a mulberry in childhood, but every year now we eat our fill of mulberries in a local castle gardens in Wales.

Blog Archive