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Poetry

[I wish there was a god]

By fs
Translated from Estonian by Miriam McIlfatrick

I wish there was a god
who would see to it
that we
who work in Finland as bus drivers
small-town hairdressers
overwrought nurses
rock band roadies
liquor store assistants
dressmakers and decorators
would never know
the persistence of power freaks
the attention of moneylenders
the support of legal experts
that we would be spared
the taunts of rich folks’ kids

that those
who are paid for their words
would never learn our names

that our private lives
and our private parts
would not be touched by the art lot
who would like to connect with us
collect ideas and experience
for their books
films and stage lives

I wish there was a god
who would preserve us
from interesting people
I wish there was the sort of god
who would preserve us from a god
we invent for ourselves
to protect us from all of them
and from selecting someone
from among ourselves
who would not let us become
religious fanatics or fascists
that he would give us peace
dull workday peace

there is no god of that sort

© fs. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2015 by Miriam McIlfratrick. All rights reserved.

English

I wish there was a god
who would see to it
that we
who work in Finland as bus drivers
small-town hairdressers
overwrought nurses
rock band roadies
liquor store assistants
dressmakers and decorators
would never know
the persistence of power freaks
the attention of moneylenders
the support of legal experts
that we would be spared
the taunts of rich folks’ kids

that those
who are paid for their words
would never learn our names

that our private lives
and our private parts
would not be touched by the art lot
who would like to connect with us
collect ideas and experience
for their books
films and stage lives

I wish there was a god
who would preserve us
from interesting people
I wish there was the sort of god
who would preserve us from a god
we invent for ourselves
to protect us from all of them
and from selecting someone
from among ourselves
who would not let us become
religious fanatics or fascists
that he would give us peace
dull workday peace

there is no god of that sort

© fs. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2015 by Miriam McIlfratrick. All rights reserved.

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