When was it you took up that second stick,
and began to walk like a cross country skier ?
Your glide developed its own politics.
Last July, you were able to stretch over
like an acrobat, to oil the garden table.
The patio faced South. It was high Summer.
Coffee and grapefruit was the breakfast ritual,
or boiled eggs eaten from blue terracotta.
Our paradise you called it , like a gite
we might have chosen somewhere in Provence.
Neither of us understood you were in danger.
Not even when we called the ambulance:
you’d been inside so many hospitals,
ticking your menus, shrugging off jabs and scans
talking unstoppably to visitors—-
your long crippling made you bitterly clever.
Humped on your atoll, and awash with papers
you often argued like an angry man.
This time , however, you were strangely gentle.
Your face lit up as soon as I arrived;
smiling, you shooed the nurses out, and said
Now go away, I’m talking to my wife.
You liked it, when I brought myself to say
seeing you was the high point of my day.
The nurses, pushed for time, hauled you about
and fixed the bed without much ceremony.
You spoke of home, as if you were ET,
and wanted me to fetch you in the car—as
I would have, if the staff nurse had concurred.
Darling, they brought you in like a broken bird.
Your shoulder blades were sharp beneath your skin,
a high cheek bone poignant against the pillow.
Yet neither of us spoke a word of death.
My love, you whispered, I feel so safe with you.
That Monday, while I phoned, you waited loyally
for my return, before your last breath.
Candai luat al doilea bat
si-ai inceput sa mergi ca la schi fond?
Alunecarea ta avea propria-i politica.
In iulie anul trecut puteai sa te intinzi
ca un acrobat, sa lustruiesti masutsa din gradina.
Curtea dadea spre sud. Era in plina vara.
Cafeaua si grapefruit-ul – ritual de dimineata,
sau oua fierte servite-n teracota albastra.
Paradisul nostru, cum ii spuneai tu, ca sejur
am fi putut s-alegem un loc de prin Provence.
Niciunul din noi doi n-a inteles ca erai in pericol.
Nici macar cand am chemat salvarea:
fusesei prin atatea spitale,bifand meniuri, uitand
de-impunsaturi si raze,
vorbind la nesfarsit cu vizitatorii –
infirmitatea lunga te facea amarnic de destept.
Adus de spate pe atolul tau si inundat de hartii
adesea te certai ca un tafnos.
Totusi, de data asta erai straniu de bland.
Fatsa ti s-a aprins cand am ajuns acolo;
zambind, ai expediat asistentele si-ai spus
Acum plecati, vorbesc cu sotia.
Ti-a placut cand m-am adunat si ti-am spus
ca sa te vad era partea cea mai buna a zilei mele.
Asistentele, indepartate-o vreme, te-au tot mutat
si ti-au facut patul fara prea mare ceremonie.
Vorbeai despre acasa ca si cand erai E.T.
si voiai sa te iau in masina – asa
cum as fi facut-o daca sora-sefa m-ar fi lasat.
Iubitule, te-au adus ca pe o pasare lovita.
Omoplatii ti se vedeau ascutiti sub piele
si maxilarul iesit in relief sprijinit de perna.
Dar niciunul din noi doi n-a scos un cuvant despre moarte.
Iubirea mea,sopteai, imi dai atata siguranta.
In lunea aceea, cat am dat telefoane, m-ai asteptat loial
sa ma intorc,si-apoi ti-ai dat ultima suflare.
TRANSLATION CAFÉ 2008, Nr. 23/January 15, 2008, Anny Ballardini, Translations from: Anny Ballardini – Someone else by Gabriela Moldovan – Altcineva
Anny Ballardini - Someone elseI woke up this morningand they had stolen my carmy house my bed my eyesmy mind my family my fatemy job my friendsleft there on the scorching groundI went downtown and got a plastic hearta couple of colored marbles for my...