Like leaves startled by a gust of wind
they peel away from the tight-knit group,
one child, two, another, more,
taking flight, ruffling up the street,
blown into it, propelled into merging,
unravelling the throng,
then seeking it again, and falling into place.
Magnetism drives them apart, then pulls them together,
spilling them into the street,
then dragging them back again. Strange
how they take shape, becoming themselves.
As though consciousness demands pursuit.
They are sought out, touched, gathered in.
Nothing happens, till they face
an obstacle, one by one.
Two or three have made it,
two or three more begin to pull away,
until energy becomes infectious
and their ‘crocodile' dissolves,
and they cross the road in line. A wisp
is left behind, an enveloping tenderness,
summoning the stragglers, making them realise
the others have gone, the group
is over there now. All
as easy as a breeze,
softly, like a pattern
they come together once again
and are still.
The literal translation of this poem was made by Gwen MacKeith
The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013