Liliana Ursu


Country: Romania
Language(s): Romanian
The Silver of Our Moment

Ignorant, the snail crosses both good and evil,
the sensations of each, as it caresses earth,
sometimes warm and tempting, sometimes
cold, devoid of answers.
Its journeys embroider silver lace
on truths, half truths and lies–
a work of art
by such a slow, insignificant creature,
easily crushed
by the wickedness of the powerful,
by negligence or accident.

I watch it advance with the same sweet patience
it uses to carry itself
along blades of grass, the bent stems
of the pansies, through the perfume of May roses,
but also over pink granules of poison
scattered by people for creatures larger than it
and considered more harmful.

The sheen of silver left on
the poison
is as perfect, as bright as that
on the roses.

We adorn each sin
in the silver of our moment,
unaware of the angel
blushing, hastening to renew our path
with pansies, with sunbeams, with roses.

Translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Tess Gallagher