Jeanne squatting on the grass looked pensive,
a serious curve to her pink cheek.
I went up. ‘Anything you want?’
For I obey my grandchildren, observe them,
try all the time to grasp what’s in their head.
And she replied. ‘Beasties.’
So I parted grass-blades, found an ant.
‘There you are.’ She was half-satisfied.
‘No, beasties are big,’ she told me.
the huge. Seas lure them to the shore,
lull them with a harsh rhythm,
enticing them with shadow
and the monstrous flying of the wind.
They relish terror, need the marvellous.
I had no elephant handy and apologized.
‘Won’t something else do? Tell me, Jeanne.’
She raised a tiny finger at the sky.
‘That,’ she said. It was time for evening.
I saw the moon’s great disc on the horizon.
Translated by Harry Guest