Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume I

Water Wells and People

We had our water wells inside our houses

We drank the rainwater bathed in it

kept some order and cleanness One night

someone got up emptied his cup

of bitterness in the well The others pretended

they were deep asleep Later one by one

they got up in turns emptied

their cup of bitterness At dawn

no one drank the water Until finally

the ladder sunk in the well The tenants

climbed on the roof opened their mouths

motionless there for hours just hoping

that raindrops would fall The wandering photographer

passed by down the street He didn’t see them He read

the funereal announcements glued on the poles

and on big doors of the shut-up stores


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