Silent Birds

By Cecil Bødker

Black earth-eyes
stare somberly
through holes
in the snow’s worn bedsheet.
The neighboring farm’s thatched roof
drips monotone
melodically into puddles
along the barn’s damp wall,
yellow stucco flaking
at the hatches in the gable.

In an overgrown apple tree
sit five silent birds
dreaming
about the sun that went down
while they sang
in distant summers.

By Cecil Bodker, “Tavse fugle” ©1956
Translasted from Danish by Michael Goldman

This poem was in the first feature of Bødker’s poetry ever published in English, published by Univ of Iowa translation journal, Exchanges.