In the beginning was fear.
There were also poems.
Then came a man –
everyone else vanished
when the man came,
and the fear vanished too.
Next came a child,
and the fear returned,
the fear of sudden death.
The wave of lullaby suffocated me.
The smell of milk deafened me.
All sounds vanished, except mine,
which rang from inside
like soft metal, like
the swallowed tongue of a bell.
All sounds vanished –
the jealous, the warm, the coarse,
the sweet and yearned-for,
the strict and simple.
Then anorexia – lov e
between bones and skin,
and a third party: the poems,
those grieving mourners
who could not get used to each other,
to me or the dead.
One by one they said goodbye.
And when a child,
between morning milk
and afternoon porridge
makes sounds, syllables,
and rhymes them
and builds up words
like colourful plastic blocks,
I understand, I know exactly
what you’re trying to say
and what you mean:
you – my mother’s mother tongue
you my mother’s mother tongue
you – my mother.