God by Amano Tadashi (GOD / 天野忠)

My grandmother died
during an afternoon nap in a hammock,
drooling in her sleep,
silent like a swing when it stops.
Stubborn, lazy and good, my grandmother’s death.
My grandfather, who sat at the corner of the table
and ate less than the rest of us,
who always worked with a simple honesty,
writhed in pain for some ten days
before he fell out of bed
and died covered in his own blood.
A good death, a bad death,
the sun was always dimly shining outside the house.
I always say God inside my mouth.
And spit.

昼寝のよだれをたらして
ハンモックの中で
お祖母さんが死んでいた
ブランコがゆれやむ時のように静かであった。
因業で怠け上手なお祖母さんの死は。
テーブルの隅っこで
誰よりもすくなく食べ
いつでも馬鹿正直に働いたお祖父さんは
幾十日も苦しみぬいた末
ベッドから落ちて
きたならしく血の中で死んだ。
上手な死 下手な死
陽はいつでもぼんやり家の外を照らした。
私はいつでもGODと口の中で言う。
そしてつばを吐く。

NOTES:

Amano Tadashi (1909-1993) was a Japanese poet. He went from job to job until his poem 「重たい手」 (“Heavy Hands”) brought attention to him in 1954. His poetry collections include 「単純な生涯」 (A Simple Life, 1958) and 「私有地」 (Demesne, 1981).

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