Spring this year arrived as clean
as if in its Sunday best, and we felt embarrassed
that we were still in our work clothes, our hands
unwashed, with the dog in the barnyard
mangy and shedding.
And we didn’t know whom to blame, Spring
or ourselves, for being out of step.
Beauty, says the old schoolteacher,
should arrive unexpected,
and cause a little discomfort.
Translation of an untitled poem in the series “Maijs” [May] in Poēma par pienu [Poem of Milk]. Copyright Imants Ziedonis. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2009 by Bitite Vinklers. All rights reserved.