for Clara, on her 24th birthday

A photograph of Clara and Charlotte, from around 2001 (?), by Tom Petras:

Lines from the Portuguese poet Vincius de Moraes, translated by Richard Wilbur:


Never take her away,
The daughter whom you gave me,

And who, in the night-time, calls me
In the saddest voice that can be
Father, father, and tells me
Of the love she feels for me.
Don’t let her go away,
Her whom you gave—my daughter—

A photo I took at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, where Clara is buried:

Some other stuff I wrote is here. TJ Beitleman graciously posted it on his excellent site a few weeks ago. The last section of it relates specifically to Clara.

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