You don’t hear anything


The camera’s broken?  It’s cold out,
and there are crows bigger than crows
usually are, scattering smoothly over there
across the fields.
Nothing over there.  Twilight.  Gold gray twilight
spreads out.  A tree in Poland
is over there the lost barren tree.
Lighted and empty, the bus drives over the levee.
On the riverbank, two men with their backs
to the dam, which neither begins nor ends.
You don’t hear anything.  You hear the slippage
of the floe, the circling floe.  You hear
for a long time yet, later, in the dark, the drifting ice.
The camera’s broken, else why are the pictures
blurry now?  Two men stood on the riverbank.
They came back.  They could tell the story.
Oderbruch by Jürgen Becker