Returning by Pablo Neruda

So many profiles of death line my face

that I cannot die,

I’m not capable of it,

they look for me and can’t find me

and I leave with what is mine,

with my poor destiny

on horseback, lost

in solitary pastures

far south in South America:

a fiery wind blows in,

the trees are bent down

from the day of their birth:

they must kiss the earth,

that smooth plain:

it comes later, the snow

of a thousand words

that never lets up.

I have returned

from where I will go,

on Friday tomorrow

I came back

with each of my bells

and I stood waiting,

searching for the meadow,

kissing bitter earth

like a bent-over shrub.

Because it is our duty

to obey winter,

to let the wind grow

within you as well,

until the snow falls,

until this day and every day are one,

the wind and the past,

the cold falls,

finally we are alone,

and finally we will be silent.


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