Jacques Réda

Jacques Réda
The Letter Scale
One of the objects I've treasured most in my life
Is this letter scale which, long ago, you gave me.
I was an active correspondent at the time,
Even sending lots of letters overseas.
While still enjoying the pleasure of going to the post,
I now had another: assessing exactly, in advance,
At my counter, the cost of packets and envelopes,
To which, price list in hand, I stuck my stamps.
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Un Citadin / A City Dweller
The street I walk along I often see
As if I'd long since left the moving surface
Of the world for the endless other side that disperses
Us all some day without return but free

Of care. I apply myself so well to this fragile proceeding
That very quickly my gaze ceases to be
Part of the cloudy clump of hope and memory
I'll have given my name to. But for this to succeed,

A feeling of absolute happiness has to make
Itself felt, as if from outside me, so much
That at that moment the very street has a hunch
That it, the entire city, and its uncertain space

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