993. Road, by Antonio Machado

Traveler, your footprints are
the only path, the only track:
wayfarer, there is no way,
there is no map or Northern star,
just a blank page and a starless dark;
and should you turn round to admire
the distance that you've made today
the road will billow into dust.
No way on and no way back,
there is no way, my comrade: trust
your own quick step, the end's delay,
the vanished trail of your own wake,
wayfarer, sea-walker, Christ.

(trans - loosely - by Don Paterson)

Source: The White Lie: New and Selected Poetry, by Don Paterson

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