he’s the only one who drives the dogs away from the trash he shares with them the useful bits
because of the bulky clothes he wears in the frost
from a distance you’d mistake him for a robot

he sets off at dawn he guards himself from the hurrying world with his grizened face he becomes invisible

only the dogs follow him almost closely
because man is always able to dig best at the bottom of the dumpster, he brings to light a multitude of bones and goodies, he chooses what to take according to his need
he fills up sacks, he puts in pieces of bread stale slices of cake
rotting apples orange peels

in this way he’s raising – in his ghetto encircled by housing blocks –
five pigs every year, growing big as buffaloes
and he’s afraid they’ll knock down their tiny little house made of wood and cardboard

come Christmas he sells them and gives the money to his Son so he can get rugs silver thrones sculptures, whatever he wants, like he’s a big gentleman – or whatever pleases his wife, how tender she is in her dresses of silk velvet only flowers and flowing waters

Translated from Romanian by Carrie Messenger