There is no worm so small that
it won’t curl up, if one walks on top of it
No, I no longer dare,
Dearly beloved parents,
I no longer dare to direct my gaze
At your pictures.
On your faces I read too many rebukes
Rebukes for my laziness, for my carelessness:
I fail in my strictest duties,
Fail to defend my country’s integrity,
That sacred heritage passed through the centuries,
From generation to generation in your lineage.
I let that sacred heritage weaken,
For fear of losing the good graces
Of the bigshots of the parish…
…But you know well, my mother and my father,
The little people? It’s better for them to keep quiet.
Keep quiet and suffer.
To be immobilized throughout their lives
By the aristocracy
It’s the little people who don’t have the right
To defend their right!
They don’t have the right to shed a tear for their unhappiness
Except in secret from everyone…
However, I can no longer keep quiet,
I’ve already been quiet too long,
Months and months I have been patient,
Between epochs of rage
And epochs of despair.
I have felt too much bitterness in my heart,
One day soon the package
Like a spring too restrained
And all the worse for someone
There is nothing worse on earth
Than sheep enraged…
24 August 1971.
Translated by Lenora Timm