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THE SHAPE OF FATE Once-told fables in our heart Like a silver schooner offered to the icons Of an empty church, July on the island. C S . The shape of fate over a child's birth, circling of the stars and the wind on a dark night in February, old women with healing skills climbing the creaking stairs and the dry branches of the vine naked in the courtyard. Over a child's crib the shape of fate black-kerchiefed smile inexplicable and eyelids lowered and breast white as milk and the door opening and the skipper, sea-whipped, throwing his wet cap onto a black chest. These faces and these circumstances pursued you while you unwound the yarn for your nets on the beach and again while you watched the hollow of waves as you sailed on a broad reach; H3 on all seas, in every gulf they were with you, and they were the hardship of life, they were the joy. Now I don't know how to read on: why they bound you in chains, why they pierced you with the spear, why one night in the forest they parted you from the woman who watched with startled eyes and couldn't speak at all, why they deprived you of light, the open sea, bread. How did we happen to fall, my friend, into the pit of fear? It wasn't your fate, nor was it decreed for me, we never sold or bought this kind of merchandise; who is he who commands and murders behind our backs? Don't ask; three red horses on the threshing floor circle on human bones, their eyes blindfolded; don't ask, just wait: the blood, the blood will rise some morning like Saint George the rider to nail the dragon to earth with his lance. ι October '41 144 ...


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