Cecil Bodker


One year there were too many
–and maybe mosquitoes.

People talked about the soil's
increased aquasity
and had it noted
on the calendar.

Last year it was the snails.

And the year before

Things will work out, people said:
they'll die off by themselves.
And people talked about mange
and prolonged sickness
it will all come to an end.

Just look at the foxes, people said.

One year there were mice
and next year there were none.
That was proof.

This year it is children.

People talk about the soil's
lack of aquasity
and the blighted grain
people talk about responsibility
and lack of responsibility
people talk–

For things will surely work out
by themselves.
Just look at the foxes
Just look at all the mice–
it goes into the calendar.

Next year it will be flies.

   Danish; trans. Nadia Christensen & Alexander Taylor

Cecil Bodker, Danish, trans. Nadia Christensen & Alexander Taylor,
Contemporary Danish Poetry, Twayne Publishers/Gyldendal, 1977.