People and Suitcases

by SF

Don’t leave your wet towel on the table.
It’s time to start straightening up.
In a month or so, another summer will be over.
What a sad demobilization, putting away bathing suits,
sunglasses, short-sleeves, sandals,
twilight colors on a luminous sea. Soon,
the outdoor cinemas will be closed, their chairs
stacked in a corner. The boats will sail
less often. Safely back home, the lovely tourist girls
will sit up late, shuffling through color glossies
of swimmers, fishermen, oarsmen–not us. Already,
up in the loft, our suitcases wait to find out
when we’ll be leaving, where we’re going this time,
and for how long. You also know that inside
those scuffed, hollow suitcases there’s a bit of string,
a couple of rubber bands, and not a single flag.

–Yannis Ritsos
translated by Martin McKinsey