Situation: To Cast Off A Malady

invite people over. invite everyone.  to a feast.  a big feast.
and if the sick one doesn't want to get out of bed, that’s fine, leave him there.
let there be music and dancing, and songs and cakes.
and if the sick one doesn’t want to dance, leave him, he doesn’t have to.
and if the sick one doesn’t want to sing, leave him, he doesn’t have to.
and if the sick one doesn’t want to eat or drink, that’s fine, leave him.
but let there be a lot of noise in the house, and lots of people.
let them share stories and memories, tales and riddles
and if the sick one doesn't say anything, that’s fine,
he doesn't have to talk, he doesn’t have to laugh or remember.
but bring people to the house, to the garden of the house, to the inn, to the town
let there be noise, a lot of noise, and lots and lots of people.
 
and when the party is over, two or three days after the feast,
let the women throw the leftovers from the banquet into a sheet
a big embroidered sheet, preferably white, very white,
preferably embroidered.
let them throw the cakes, the almonds, the figs, the nuts,
the blackberries and sweets, the jams and bread, the juice and wine, into the sheet
and take it to the river, carried by six, by four women
let them take the sheet to the river, with its goods, its fruits, its cakes,
let the women, in fours, in sixes, go down the road to the river, once and again,
and let them throw it all into the river, the leftovers from the feast,
the wine, the water, the juice, the almonds, the figs
let them throw it all into the river, into the current
 
Translation of “Situación para curar a un enfermo” Copyright Mercedes Roffé. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 Margaret Carson.  All rights reserved.