girl under oversized umbrella reading a book

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
~ C.S. Lewis



Rain will fall again

on your smooth pavement,

a light rain like

a breath or a step.

The breeze and the dawn

will flourish again

when you return,

as if beneath your step.

Between flowers and sills

the cats will know.


There will be other days,

there will be other voices.

You will smile alone.

The cats will know.

You will hear words

old and spent and useless

like costumes left over

from yesterday’s parties.


You too will make gestures.

You’ll answer with words—

face of springtime,

you too will make gestures.


The cats will know,

face of springtime;

and the light rain

and the hyacinth dawn

that wrench the heart of him

who hopes no more for you—

they are the sad smile

you smile by yourself.


There will be other days,

other voices and renewals.

Face of springtime,

we will suffer at daybreak.


by Cesare Pavese

translated by Geoffrey Brock