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.
Cand oare ai capatat si a doua carja
Si ai inceput sa cutreieri tara ca un schior?
Ti-ai urmat propriul drum in lunecarea ta.
In Iulie, puteai sa faci tumbe
De acrobat, sa lacuiesti masa din gradina.
Curtea interioara dadea spre sud. Era miezul verii
La micul dejun serveam cafea si grapfruturi
Sau oua fierte in vase de teracota albastra
Spuneai ca-i Paradisul nostru,
Ne-am fi putut stabili undeva in Provence
Niciunul dintre noi nu a realizat ca esti in pericol.
Nici cand am chemat ambulanta:
Ai fost internat in atatea spitale,
Iti marcai meniurile, erai nepasator la injectii si ecografii
Vorbeai in continuu vizitatorilor- – – –
Infirmitatea iti conferea o inteligenta sarcastica.
Ghemuit pe atolul tau, si acoperit de hartii
Adesea protestai ca un om furios.
Dar de data asta erai totusi neobisnuit de calm.
Fata ti s-a luminat de cum am sosit;
Ai poftit-o afar ape sora, zambind, si ai spus
Du-te acum, sunt cu sotia.
Ai fost incantat cand ti-am marturisit ca
intalnirea noastra era cel mai bun lucru din ziua aia.
Asistentele, presate de timp, te-au ridicat
Si ti-au aranjat patul fara prea multa ceremonie.
Vorbeai de casa in stilul lui ET,
Si mi-ai cerut sa te asez eu in masina- –
In caz ca s-ar fi oferit si asistentele.
Dragul meu, te-au adus ca pe o pasare cu aripile frante.
Oasele umerilor se iveau ascutite pe sub piele,
un obraz osos impungand perna.
Si totusi nu a pomenit nimic de moarte.
Iubito, mi-ai soptit, ma simt inn siguranta cu tine.
In lunea aia, eu te sunam, iar tu asteptai loial
Sa ma intorc, inainte de a-ti da ultima suflare.Roxana Mindrican
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...