Today's poem is by Antonio Machado, translated by Willis Barnstone

Yesterday my sorrows

Yesterday my sorrows
were silkworms
building a cocoon.
Today they are black moths.

From how many acrid flowers
did I dig out white wax?
Oh, right now my depressions
labor like bees.

They are mad oats
or darnel in the grain fields,
mildew on the wheat,
beetles in wood.

Oh, once my sorrows
were decent tears;
were rolling waterwheels
irrigating an orchard!
Today they are flood waters
stripping mud from the land.

The sorrows that turned
my heart into a beehive
today treat it
like an old city wall,
which they want to knock down, and soon,
under the blows of a pickax.

Copyright © 2004 Willis Barnstone All rights reserved
from Border of a Dream
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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