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The Fire’s Retreat

The fire is silent, turned to bark,
beneath the roar of an age-old wood.

Predator and victim of its prey,
on a white flagpole it hoists the day.

The fire is silent, its flame dried out,
beneath a lake hard as rock.

The fire is silent beneath the grim roar
and blows in the air like ash from an urn.

Ацо Шопов, Гледач во пепелта, 1970
Translated by Rawley Grau and Christina Kramer, 2022