Anjela Duval

My Village
Translation by Diarmuid Johnson from the original text which appears in Kan an Douar p. 114 (Al Liamm 1978). Read further Poems by Anjela Duval in English.
The village has lost its voice
Its bosom is the colour of death
Its heart has stopped beating.

No more do I hear it live
No more do I hear it speak
No more do I hear it sing, weep
Laugh, splutter, pulsate.
Not even a sigh.
It is dead. Dead.

The dawn-song of the rooster has ceased
And the rattle of cartwheels on the road
The driver's whip no longers cracks
(No more swearing and cursing either!)
The mare no longer neighs
As she returns to her foal
The deep bellowing of the bull has ceased
And the forlorn bleat of the new-born lamb
No lowing of cows at milking time
The fields have fallen fallow.

The slabs by the washing pools are silent
- As are the tongues -
And strewn with food for the ducks
The paths are thick with briars
Grass grows long on the cartways.

In the distance, a train whistles city-bound
Small birds exchange remarks
In their arcane language
Punctuated by the mad laughter of the squirrel.

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