Monday 29 November 2021

Edvard Hoem: 'Mor og far i snødrivene'




When I wake up at dead of night

and think of where my children are, I see,

as in a glimpse

mother and father in the snow drifts

on a byroad to a farm in Romsdal

a long time ago.

Mother trudging through snow to mid-calf. The road

snow-bound, with father as always

at the rear, his hat askew and pressed down hard, so

wind and blowing snow won’t bear him off.


All I recall is face and snow that 

swept across, and the wind that filled

the road with snow drifts. They carried out

their tasks in Molde and came home, then Christmas. All

of this is gone.


But after many years and at dead of night

I wake up and think of where my children are. Now I

myself am a man in a coat

a man in the snow drifts, a man at evenfall

scarcely lit up for just a moment one

winter evening in a new millennium.


But at night time I become a witch

and wonder where my children are

and sing a quiet lullaby

they cannot hear.

For I set out from mother and father

leaving them there in the snow drifts.

My children have departed to their winter nights,

just as I once set out.


I ‘ll not go out into the world

to find myself a sunlit paradise.

I do not long for childhood years

nor for an heaven here on earth.

All that I wish for is for snow to fall

so that our children then can see us,

our dear ones then can see us,

as in a glimpse, while we move towards darkness

in blowing snow and wind, in snow and wind.


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