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Alice Malin, 1st prize (18-and-under)
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unvergesslicher augenblick

der sommer schlaegt sein gruenes dach
ueber den feldweg
bis auf die steinigen weinbergaecker.
waldwaerts zwei raederzeilen, tief
in den lehm geschnitten.
mutter im gespraech mit Lorenz, dem backergesellen,
spaziergaenger unter kirschbaeumen.
meine augen starren auf wadenstruempfe,
geschmueckt mit flauschigen bommeln,
sonntaeglich weiss.
gesicht und stimme vergessen.
auf den wortlaut
gab ich nicht acht.
der baecker musste einruecken.
blieb an der ostfront verschollen.
gefuehrt von anderen haenden,
schnellt sein brotschieber
ueber die fussgrube.

die kirschallee ist abgehaun.
der wind hat freie bahn.
ich seh mich an der hand der mutter
in der allee.
ein schattengang voller laubfrische.
ein gespraech unterm kirschbaum,
belebend belanglos.


Wulf Kirsten
an instant, engraved

summer meshing its green thatch
over the path through the fields,
halted at the vineyards' stoniness.
towards the forest, the twin scorings of wheels,
deep-carved in the clay.
mother in conversation with Lorenz, our baker's boy,
a stroller under cherry-trees.
my eyes transfixed by his calf-length socks –
decked with fleecy bobbles,
pristine Sunday white.
his face and the sound of his voice forgotten.
of what he said
I had no idea.
the baker, conscripted,
was missing on the Eastern Front, presumed dead.
grasped by other hands,
his paddle, its load of loaves, jolts
over the ruts foot-worn into the path.

now, the cherry-lane's cut down,
the wind ploughing its own tracks.
I'm watching myself – hand in hand
with my mother in that lane.
a shadowparing, full of the freshness of leaves.
a conversation under some cherry-tree
reawakened, of hardly any consequence at all.
'Eurydice!' the banks the whole river-long re-echoed.


Translated from the German by Alice Malin
  [Commentary on the poem by the translator]   



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