The Branch

José Emilio Pacheco

All of the sudden the sight

of a bare branch at the window

Its scratchy drawing moves on

    spider or arabesque

through the snow


This winter calligraphy

brings signs of rebirth

but its tiny signatures of death

    will never be lovelier

than today


Sap which boils immobility or sleeps

Inscribed in air

    the rigging of a sailing ship


This garden

could be

   in all innocence





Pacheco, José Emilio. "The Branch." Trans. George McWhirter. Selected Poems. Eds. George McWhirter and José Emilio Pacheco. New York: New Directions, 1987. pp. 125-26.

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