Joris Iven

PRAYER TO MY PARENTS

 

 

Throw your arms around my frail body, mother,

Lay your gentle hands upon my neck.

 

 

Place your palm against my shoulder blade,

Strict father, and tell me again to stand up straight.

 

 

Convince me of your presence,

Every moment that I imagine you among the dead.

 

 

Strike, dead mother, strike with your arms,

Mother, strike me.

 

 

Plant, father, with your big earthen hands,

Dead father, plant your voice in me.

 

 

Make my loins crease in pain.

Make my broken voice sing again.

 

 

Strike, mother, strike with your arms

From marble a wife for me.

 

 

Plant, father, propagate for me

A wife with both feet in the ground.

 

 

And above all, father, mother, leave me,

Leave me alone, with earth and with stone.

 

 

Oh, father, mother, return once more.

And leave me again.

 

 

TRANSLATION: PAUL GRETTON

 

 

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