Advent poems 15: ‘There was winter’s cold and moisture’, by Jaan Kaplinski


There was winter’s cold and moisture
in the bedclothes, in the walls and floor,
our bodies tired from a long day’s work.
At night I dreamt I caught the two yellow ducklings,
and struggled to keep my hold.
It was easiest keeping them in my breast pockets.
I wanted to bring them home to raise them,
but realized then I didn’t know what
to feed them. I don’t remember the rest.
I probably went to the opera, but this
may have been a dream from the night before.
In the morning, weeding flowerbeds,
Tiia found a little hare crouching under a poppy.


Jaan Kaplinski (trs Sam Hamill and Riina Tamm), from The Wandering Border (Harvill, 1995)

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