What Will You Do?
Translated by B. Deutsch and A. Yarmolinsky
What will you do, God, when I die?
I am your jar (if cracked, I lie?)
Your well-spring (if the well go dry?)
I am your craft, your vesture I—
You lose your purport, losing me.
When I go, your cold house will be
Empty of words that made it sweet.
I am the sandals your bare feet
Will seek and long for, wearily.
Your cloak will fall from aching bones.
Your glance, that my warm cheeks have cheered
As with a cushion long endeared,
Will wonder at a loss so weird;
And, when the sun has disappeared,
Lie in the lap of alien stones.
What will you do, God? I am feared.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.