THE PIER by Judita Vaičiūnaitė trans. Rimas Uzgiris
Your torn white shirt lies
drying on the anchor.
In the hush of my cheek
I feel your gypsy hair, while husky
voices echo across the water
and through night’s rusting gear.
Palms timidly touch
the still aching secret scars.
Dawn breaks, and in its light
I can see your heart in your eyes,
waiting for me like treasure received…
O dawn – of boundless brutality and beauty!
Judita Vaičiūnaitė (1937-2001) was one of Lithuania’s leading poets of the second half of the twentieth century. She graduated from Vilnius University in 1959, and spent most of her life in Vilnius. She published over twenty books of poetry, as well as translations of poetry, poetry books for children, and plays. She worked as an editor for several leading literary journals in Lithuania. Her poetry has been translated into English, German, Russian and other languages. Shearsman Books (UK) published a selection of her poems in 2018: Vagabond Sun. Her work has garnered numerous prizes, including the Lithuanian Writer’s Union Prize in 2000, and the national award of the Gediminas Cross in 1997.