And who`s this little fellow in his itty-bitty robe?
That`s tiny baby Adolf, the Hitlers` little boy!
Will he grow up to be an LL.D?
Or a tenor in Vienna`s Opera House?
Whose teensy hand is this, whose little ear and eye and nose?
Whose tummy full of milk, we just don`t know:
printer`s, doctor`s, merchant`s, priest`s?
Where will those tootsy-wootsies finally wander?
To a garden, to a school, to an office, to a bride?
Maybe to the Burgermeister`s daughter?
Precious little angel, mommy`s sunshine, honey bun.
While he was being born, a year ago,
there was no dearth of signs on the earth and in the sky:
spring sun, geraniums in windows,
the organ-grinder`s music in the yard,
a lucky fortune wrapped in rosy paper.
Then just before the labor his mother`s fateful dream.
A dove seen in a dream means joyful news--
if it is caught, a long-awaited guest will come.
Knock knock, who`s there, it`s Adolf`s heartchen knocking.
A little pacifier, diaper, rattle, bib,
our bouncing boy, thank God and knock on wood, is well,
looks just like his folks, like a kitten in a basket,
like the tots in every other family album.
Sh-h-h, let`s not start crying, sugar.
The camera will click from under that black hood.
The Klinger Atelier, Grabenstrasse, Braunau.
And Braunau is a small, but worthy town--
honest businesses, obliging neighbors,
smell of yeast dough, of gray soap.
No one hears howling dogs, or fate`s footsteps.
A history teacher loosens his collar
and yawns over homework.
(trans. by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)