Rainbow at Night
for Don Ramon del Valle-Inclan
The train moves through the Guadarrama one night on the way to Madrid. The moon and the fog create high up a rainbow. Oh April moon, so calm, driving the white clouds! The mother holds her boy sleeping on her lap. The boy sleeps, and nevertheless sees the green fields outside, and trees lit up by sun, and the golden butterflies. The mother, her forehead dark between a day gone and a day to come, sees a fire nearly out and an oven with spiders. There’s a traveler made with grief, no doubt seeing odd things; he talks to himself, and when he looks wipes us out with his look. I remember fields under snow, and pine trees of mother mountains. And you, Lord, through whom we all have eyes, and who sees souls, tell us if we all one day will see your face.
— translated from the Spanish by Robert Bly