You should have seen that …

By Jan Imgrund

Translation Catherine Hales

You should have seen that expression of regret those who earn their living making faces.
They came here every year (from all points of the compass) to honour their ancestors their
deportment here too is immaculate, (strict)

they bear a great responsibility to the aura, are blinded and through the snowed-up streets –
averted
to paint eyes that see everything

performance narrowed to slits when time was nearly up I glimpsed the final dislocation – an
almost voiceless hymn to beauty made it into the air

and eyes averted they
passed beneath a rain of lanterns through the streets a procession always ahead, and their
hands told the whole story (striking back coloured cloths)

when the exchange of air finally succeeded “faces lost” all of them together on the great
square
it

occurred to me : I had never seen them just standing

Original © Jan Imgrund
Translation © Catherine Hales