To my Angel
Cold Rain
Holy Week
Super 8 Film

Author: Anne Dorn
Translator: Paul-Henri Campbell


To my Angel

I’ve never set my eyes on you,
although your pose of protest
with your hands clasped
and your wings spread
was always overwhelming.
Angel of Abraham,
you who intercede
when the knife is already drawn
and my heart, shattered to pieces,
permits no reflection:
Entrusted to me, the child
of my love
rests in my arms, and it seems
inevitable that I shall kill it.
But you are holding, still concealed,
the ram that will open another path.
A path I did not know. You alone
made my life valid and whole.

How relentless is your arrival,
as you bind fast and set free
to bridge chasms,


Cold Rain

The forest is rustling.
Like women at the harp
the beech trees coax
wild sounds from the wind
with their whipping branches and twig fingers.
A black woodpecker laughs
as it flies by. Spring
arrived late and cold.
The newborn bunnies
are suffering miserably.
Overdue work lurks
in every corner.

Old friends might sit
in the sun here soon.
Might tell me that they are just
relearning how
to bow, to kneel, and
to use their hands.
Even if it’s only for prayer.

Last night a comet
stood over the house.
The pathways are slick.



Who picks berries in March?
Plucks flowers in the snow?
Catches smiles in a fishing net?

I know of fruits
that find sweetness
on dry straw.
I lived quietly
on the straw of childhood.

My thoughts
shattered the window panes.
Now I?m watching every street,
little dogs with their
restless paws.

They patter tangled patterns
of dust upon the pavement,
always ready, even sure,
to meet the goal.

I can never
close the windows again.


Holy Week

Finally, you fluttering birds
outside my window –
you’ve come back home:
You wanted to nest under
the roof. Please be my guest.
And you, bumblebee, little furry
globe, you mistake every flower
on my curtain for food.
You hum warm and wanton,
while you graze my existence
in your flight. Oh, and that silence!
Not a gust, not even
rain beating down. The trees
stand tall now, straight as arrows
waiting for the sky to fall
upon their empty crowns,
which wait like open hands
to receive and to hold.

I sow and plant in the garden.
The roots of joy run
deeper than optimism.


Super 8 Film

Wintery white, in wool,
my mother on the sled
digging her heels into the snow.
Now to the right, now to the left.

Tightening the rope with her right hand.
Her left holding the steering rod
beneath her bottom, just in case.

The snow has already hardened to ice.
Roots arch up like fingers
feeling for prey.
Out of the way! And mother’s smile
makes visible her joy:
Her scarf has slipped away,
her skirt billows upwards …

Mama! Hop and jump!
Admit it: “I could laugh!”
Then I call out to you: “Hi, Mama!”
and wave with late love.


Anne Dorn,  Jakobsleiter: Gedichte     © poetenladen, 2015.