Memories of the Garden at Etten
(or Ladies of Arles)
Two paths appear. They open to no one.
But sometimes, as you face them,
one allows you to proceed.
Then you think you've lost your way,
but suddenly there you are in that inner garden,
left alone again with the carved stone
and reading it again:
Baroness Britta Sophie—and once again
tracing with your finger
the time-worn number of the year.
Why does this discovery never grow faint?
What makes you stop here
just the way you did before,
as though you expected something
in this damp, untrodden place
shadowed by elms?