Ever since Mother hung a picture above the nursery door
showing a Guardian Angel,
you asked yourself
what did he look like
and whether he would really protect you
when you walked that narrow plank
above the abyss…

Could it be you never saw him
in the dark moments of your life,
because his feathers are black?

You used to sense only his breath.
Light snow from the cherry orchards.
And though you were falling as if into a chimney,
you knew it wouldn’t end so black.

He held you by your collar and dragged you out from there.
There, where you staggered, where you stuttered,
he would push you ahead, putting words in your mouth,
although it might not have been the will of God.

Again and again you looked over a poem’s shoulder.
The shadow of light… occasionally flitted in the dark.
A pair of eyes, like those of your mother
when she hung over the nursery door
her own portrait…