A Poet Reflects

There are times when I can’t move.

I feel roots of mine everywhere,
as though all things were born of me,
or as though I were born of all things.

All I can do then is to stay still
with eyes open like two faces at the moment of birth,
with a small amount of love in one hand
and something cold in the other.

And all I can give someone passing by me
is that motionless absence
that has roots in him too.

—Roberto Juarroz, from Vertical Poetry, translated from the Spanish by W. S. Merwin (North Point Press, 1988)

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