Negligence

by Nellie Campobello

I went to him
the doctor
I was ill

Here inside
doctor, in my
head

Noise, lots
of noise
Sounds of musics
Vivid colours
Smiles that
I can’t repress
Joy all over
my body

They say it’s
an illness
doctor, and that’s
why I’ve come

Sadness
plenty
of sadness
he prescribed

We don’t have it
They said everywhere
laughing
and I’d say to myself
very softly:
These
are ill as well

Where can I
find it, doctor?
                I’ve got it.
I saw him so pale
almost a spectre
                No, doctor,
                mine’s better.

Nellie Campobello (1900–1986). Original title: Irresponsabilidad. Translated from Spanish by Alex A. Basilio.

arc_carbajal_01

Nellie and Gloria Campobello, circa 1932. Photo: Archivo Alberto Dallal

 

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