It happened in broad daylight. We were sat
on the bench under a flowering apple tree, looking
out across the kaleidoscope of the garden in Tomaj.
Its shape shifted everytime we blinked
and a new blossom would open.
White, yellow, violet, blue, red …
Suddenly it creaked, or it whinnied quietly
in the language of trees, and the ancient fig tree
with its huge crown, whose wide leaves
for years and years had hid the shame
of the overgrown corner behind it, began bending
towards the floor in front of our eyes. Slowly it
was falling. Its leaves rustled more and more
loudly. Or maybe, it was calling for help,
for it seemed an invisible hand of the wind
was pushing it into a deep abyss, though
there was no wind this summer afternoon
and everything around, as in a colour print,
was quiet and still. … It happened in
broad daylight. A large old fig-tree in the garden
fell over and remained lying in the grass,
as though sleeping, dead tired, and in its dreams
it ground its teeth from time to time or spoke
unintellible words. We were sitting on the bench
under a flowering apple tree and we too gazed,
quietly still. And stayed so a long time.
We didn’t know what to say nor
how to help the tree, which had collapsed
in front of our eyes. Fig-tree with its head
on the floor, turned up by the roots, seeming
as if it wanted to live its post-mortem life
with its crown in the earth, its roots in the sky.
I don’t know what you were thinking then,
but I couldn’t help but feel that we too,
sooner or later, might collapse in just such
a way, in front of each other, or – if we’re
as close as now – simply
lean against each other for ever.
Translated by Ana Jelnikar and Stephen Watts