Late Mornings on Sundays

By Claudia Schvartz


Gerardo Manfredi


About the book:

The beauty and sensuality of these texts—poems and equally poetic prose—stems not only from the words, but also from where they take us: the indescribable and sorrowful wonder of being alive. Time is nothing but a necessary illusion in these pages. Claudia Schvartz is a writer who chooses to write, and in doing so she exercises her freedom: an unruly love stirring an unruly fire. Her undeniable talent for portraying intimate scenes of our daily lives, saved thanks to love, patience and wisdom, really shines through in this understated, yet powerful collection.


Late mornings on Sundays

Not always, but sometimes, after the ritual of mate

Cream cheese and quince jelly on whole wheat toast

or, even better, strawberry jam

And the quiet voices of two, coming and going

over the newspaper headlines

Political commentary and matters or words I dare not repeat

Restrained voices to avoid waking the pack of


And let the solid adult conversation of the lovers



Banishment! The last one to arrive/and the picnic on the bed almost right up near the edge/there’s no room anymore/ the minimal space and the uncomfortable feeling of not being in the party \an inconvenience/ with sternness in the tone, comments are eluded/and the thread is lost//The yarn between the lines and the clear preference/underlined by an enigmatic smile/suddenly displace the sluggishness of being half awake/and the brief Sunday becomes narrow gray stubborn// Not all of us fit, that much is clear/


And then, once the alliance had been shattered

with the thunderous appearance of all the daughters,

the truce now broken into shrieking and ambushes,

the doorbell rang quietly in the late morning

and it was Uncle Maure coming in through the long hallway of childhood


Alliances are waged in the hide-and-seek hour/eluded secrets silently gnaw at the lattice/And the whispering world assumes ignites incites /Until the rage, volcanic, rocks the crumbles//This unexpected arrival is a relief/the colossal punishment of silence gets dissolved/the nose buried deeply in that book about Inkas and rebels/against the invaders from Spain/and yet the story does not soothe the pain of not being/but an enigma/invisible trough of impossible questions


No, the brothers don’t lock themselves up

Dad stays in bed, leaning against the fat feather pillows

Fat with feathers that, sometimes, he sends flying

against his daughters, when he has to defend the fort, but those are nocturnal battles

From its sunken vantage point, the big head spies and thinks

Maure has taken a seat on the edge of the bed, and both their voices join

quietly, and a strange music emerges

Stories, sayings and laughs, and whispered smiles in that inaccessible language

Maure’s skinny shoulders, the curve of his back

I feel sad if I watch him closely

He’s the one talking,

his voice barely-there as he whispers


And the other one asks and stays silent, and on his face a smile appears


shrewd mysterious introspective, from the depths of the curve it ponders

And they lean forward again, and Maure also snickers under his breath

It’s his shoulders that quake

Free from all the burden they’ve born,

he laughs, and his laughter is muffled


But if I stare from the doorway

at the region between his shoulder-blades

my uncle turns back slowly and looks me

in the eye, smiling softly

As if saying I know you’re there, I know it’s you

the curious one

and I resist until you understand


Translated by Mercedes del Sol Acosta - Edited by Cecilia Della Croce