Il padre è morto and the beds of the dying

The abrading of time
2013

translated by Yannis Goumas

 

I return from my father’s funeral

he saw to it that we were served

with children’s songs

oddly varied

he is in a cradle singing

the child that he is

the cradle doesn’t creak

the world goes round

we sprout for a while

dry grains we

the children hold us in their hands

for a little

(in the interim)

I visit

the beds of the dying

to record their final words

I’m tired, confused. I start shouting:

 

“Next, next one, please,

let’s see what more he has to say.”

(“His concern for the life that’s ending, man,

and if it’s ending unexpectedly, concern for his folks.”)

I am preparing to die discreetly

like another of Céline’s* dogs

without complaining

and above all without theatrics

simply

the way death occurs

and as I’m planning it

I die in an accident

without my ever knowing about it

Strange that I should be talking to you

Strange

 

     The abrading of time  (2013) 

 

* Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961): French novelist

 

 

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