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.
Oare cand ai luat cel de-al doilea baston
Si ai inceput sa pasesti precum un schior de fond?
Alunecarea ta isi avea propriul sens
In iulie trecut puteai sa te intinzi
ca un acrobat sa cureti masa din gradina.
Curtea interioara dadea inspre Sud. Era miez de vara.
Cafeaua, grapefruitul sau ouale servite din albastre vase de teracota
Erau incluse in ritualul de la micul dejun.
Ii spuneai Raiul nostru,
Ca si cum ar fi fost o pensiune din Provence.
Niciunul dintre noi nu intelegea ca esti in pericol.
Nici macar cand am chemat ambulanta:
doar mai fusesei de-atatea ori in spitale
verificand meniurile, ignorand injectiile si testele
vorbind la nesfarsit cu vizitatorii –
lunga-ti suferinta te-a facut spiritual intr-un mod trist.
Chircit pe atolul tau si invadat de hartii
Te certai adesea cu o mina de om furios.
De data asta, insa, in mod ciudat, te comportai cu blandete.
Chipul ti s-a luminat cand am sosit;
zambind, ai izgonit asistentele si ai zis:
Plecati, vorbesc cu sotia mea.
Ti-a placut cand ti-am spus ca, vazandu-te,
zilele mele capatau un sens.
Asistentele, grabite, te-au dat la o parte
Si au facut patul fara prea mult fast.
Vorbeai despre casa de parca erai ET,
Voiai sa te duc in masina – ceea ce
as fi si facut daca nu s-ar fi opus asistentele.
Dragul meu, te-au adus precum o pasara franta,
Omoplatii aproape ca-ti ieseau prin piele,
Oasele pometilor strapungeau perna
Totusi, niciunul din noi nu aducea vorba de moarte.
Iubirea mea, ai suspinat, ma simt atat de linistit langa tine
In acea zi de luni, cand am sunat, ai asteptat credincios
intoarcerea mea, inainte sa-ti dai ultima suflare.George Cojocaru
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...