I know you’re waiting for me,
you’re dressed in your Sunday best
chatting with a friend and laughing as perhaps
you haven’t laughed since you were a girl

the woman you’re walking with now
tells me in passing, “I didn’t think
I’d ever see you again.”

I don’t recognize her
and don’t ask

hers is the voice of someone close
for whom I never seemed to have time
and then it was too late.

You walk away untroubled,
talking between yourselves

and you, my grandmother, don’t turn to look at me
neither of us needs to look at the other
to know that we share a love that’s ours alone

You’re wearing the dress you embroidered
with the traditional colors that never fade

there’s a slight rip below the design high on one sleeve
but the embroidery remains perfect
and beneath the rip - the clean white linen

translated from Romanian by
Adam J. Sorkin and the poet