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Kirmen Uribe, from Six Basque Poets

Ibaia

Garai batean ibaia zen hemen
baldosak eta bankuak dauden tokian.
Dozena bat ibai baino gehiago daude hiriaren azpian,
zaharrenei kasu eginez gero.
Orain langile auzo bateko plaza besterik ez da.
Eta hiru makal dira ibaiak hor
azpian jarraitzen duen seinale bakar.

Denok dugu barruan uhola dakarren ibai estali bat.
Ez badira beldurrak, damuak dira.
Ez badira zalantzak, ezinak.

Mendebaleko haizeak astintzen ditu makalak.
Nekez egiten du oinez jendeak.
Laugarren pisuan emakume nagusi bat
leihotik arropak botatzen ari da:
alkandora beltza bota du eta gona kuadroduna
eta zetazko zapi horia eta galtzerdiak
eta herritik iritsi zen neguko egun hartan
soinean zeramatzan txarolezko zapata zuribeltzak.
Hegabera izoztuak ematen zuten bere oinek elurretan.

Haurrak arropen atzetik joan dira arineketan.
Ezkontzako soinekoa atera du azkenik,
makal batean pausatu da baldar,
txori pisuegi bat balitz bezala.

Zarata handi bat entzun da. Izutu egin dira oinezkoak.
Haizeak errotik atera du makaletako bat.
Zuhaitzaren erroek emakume nagusi baten eskua dirudite,
beste esku batek noiz laztanduko zain.

The River

There was a river here once
where the paving stones and the benches are.
More than a dozen rivers flow under the city they say.
This is now a square in a working class area.
Three poplars the only sign
of the river's presence underneath.

We all carry a hidden river ready to rise.
With fear or regret.
With doubt or anger.

The westerly wind lashes at the poplars.
People can hardly walk.

On the fourth floor an old woman
throws clothes out of the window:
a black shirt and a chequered skirt,
a yellow silk scarf and a pair of tights
and the two-tone patent leather shoes
she wore the day she arrived in town.
They look like two frozen lapwings on the snow.

Children chase after the floating clothes.
Her wedding dress flies out last
and pauses gracelessly on a poplar branch,
like a bird grown too fat.
A big crash. People shout and run.
The wind has torn a poplar from the ground.
Its roots an upturned hand
that wants to be touched.