My navel

Louise Rosengreen

Traduit par : Heather Spears

I.

Just as I’m waking up              

a president lands somewhere

steps across the white stripes on the tarmac         

is greeted by a little girl with flowers

 

Flower arrangement is a delicate craft

it requires an eye for contrast

 

The little girl has a future

They shake hands on that

  

Just as I rub sleep deeper into the corners of my eyes

the president’s mouth has become a magic trick

an egg pops out of his mouth

another egg pops out of his mouth

another egg pops out of his mouth

 

Parents worry

whether their children are beautiful enough for their environment

 

Babies are still born with cleft lips

Babies are still born with labia

Test-tube babies are still delivered by C-section

Babies are still born in taxis at The Triangle

The fine is 500 crowns

The driver uses a cloth to wipe up the waters  

  

If a newborn sneezes

I am reminded

that I am alive until I am not

  

Everybody worry about dying! – that’s an order    

 

II.

 

All comparisons are unfair

The sun is not a bike light
Spring sleet is not an ice age

Even so comparisons are the keys to understanding
and locksmiths are indispensable
in a forgetful society
It costs 500 crowns for 24 hour service
if you slam yourself out during the day
At night, it costs double
Once you could leave doors and bicycles unlocked when you went out

That was indeed once

A locksmith’s tool of choice is a snap gun
A goldsmith’s choice of garment is a white coat
A bike repairman’s tool of choice is in his multipurpose toolkit

When I looked through the keyhole
I found it was my own navel
that needed polishing 

Louise Rosengreen
is a Danish writer. Her poetry collections include Lydstykker (Pieces of Sound, 2007), Ordbehandling (Wordtreatment, 2011) and Mærkelig frugt (Strange Fruit, 2011). She has contributed to numerous literary journals and anthologies, in Denmark as well as abroad.
Heather Spears
is a Vancouver-born writer and artist who has lived in Denmark since 1962. She has published 14 collections of poetry, 4 novels, and 3 books of drawings. Heather has won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award three times and the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1989.