Today’s selection from the poetry books of City Lights Books is another poem from Homero Aridjis ‘s Solar Poems, published in January of this year. Translation is by George McWhirter.
Meeting with My Father in the Orchard
Past noon. Past the cinema
with the tall sorrowful walls
on the point of coming down, I enter the orchard.
Show over, all of them have gone:
day laborers, dogs and doors.
My father is standing in front of a fig tree.
My mother has died. The children, grown old.
He’s alone, small threads of air
weave in and out of his tattered clothes.
For fear of getting too close and startling him
with my living presence, I want to go straight by,
the strange one now with white hair whom he asks,
“Who’s that there?”
“Father it’s me, your son.”
“Does your mother know you’re back. Will you stay and eat?”
“Father, for years now your wife has lain at rest
by your side in the town graveyard.”
Then, as if he has divined everything,
he calls me by my childhood name
and gives me a fig.
So we met up, the living and the dead.
Then, each went on his way.
Homero Aridjis, “Meeting With My Father In The Orchard” from Solar Poems © 2010 by Homero Aridjis. Reprinted with the permission of City Lights Books, San Francisco, California. www.citylights.com