Playmates

There were a few of us, playmates
in the scattered gardens of the city.
Remember how we found each other
and hesitantly liked each other,

and, like the lamb with the talking scroll,
spoke in silences. The good times we had belonged to no one.
Whose could they be? They disappeared amid all the hurrying people
and the worries to come with the long years.

Wagons and trucks rolled by. We didn’t care.
Houses rose around us, solid but unreal, and no on knew us.
What, after all, was real?

Nothing. Only the ball, the beautiful arcs it made.
Not even the children were real, except for the moment
of reaching up and ah! catching the ball.

— Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 8

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