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Unruffled Surface (poem)

Unruffled Surface (poem)

Published Dec 9, 2022 Updated Dec 9, 2022
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Unruffled Surface (poem)



Unruffled Surface


Where is he now, that American Cup two-times

champion? He won almost every major sailing

race. The marina was filled to the brim with onlookers

and the factory owners and inventors were greeted

not by us, but by a previously unknown politeness.


“We will be faced with aesthetically-pleasing materials,”

the mayor said, but there’s a level of mortification

it’s not proper to look on, and slowly, the onlookers

began to disperse.


We find order pleasing in a face, just as on the embankment;

for if something’s symmetrical it’s safe to swallow

Would you like an apple? It’s not the translation that’s inexact;

Those who brought the trees here named them on a whim.


Like it or not, a sportscar’s an autonomous reality,

even if sooner or later its parts wear out, I mused,

while, on the stretch between the bridge and the square,

they lifted out the crash barrier in question.


We’d have to kiss goodbye to the dry dock’s

misting station till August at the earliest,

and no-one was reckoning on there being any proof,

dredging the bottom of the bay was too costly.

But the passing of time itself became an

unruffled surface: reflecting only one question.


©Anna Bentley 2022 for the English translation

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