Orphans of Marx
(Roughly translated on the train)
We had never read Marx
But we talked as if we were heirs
Of the old German jew who wrote in London
The general theory of that vast utopia
That would finally make us
Fighters for the most generous of illusions:
The transformation of the world
In the end, what did we transform?
We believed that the books,
The murals and the closed fists
Opened doors to a better age.
Many gave up, others wound up owing to
Marxism the shattering revelation
Of their first great passion, fleeting and suffocating.
Sometimes we sat on the benches
Of the avenue named after Liberty
Drunk on dreams and purpose
And we even proselytised the sparrows and pigeons
For our romantic struggle.
And we discovered that among us
Were scoundrels and even worse,
Because its not the quality of the belief
That makes the quality of the believer
Now that my second grandchild
Is on the way and the first
Has the most beautiful smile in the world
I can’t shake off the mournful question:
Where did we go wrong? Who failed in our name?
What will I have to say to them
When they ask me: grandpa, was it you
In this picture, trying to change the world?
If I knew now where old Marx
Ended up, I would want to know
If it’s possible to reach happiness
Through the class struggle.