[This is a poem originally written in Romanian by a Mark Twain-like character called Marin Sorescu; I enjoy the challenge of rendering Romanian poetry into English and I’ve noticed it’s appreciated, so here we go again]
I move a white day,
He moves a black day.
I put forward a dream,
He captures it in battle.
He attacks my lungs,
I consider it for a year in hospital,
I pull a magnificent combination
And I win a black day from him.
He moves a curse
And threatens me with cancer
(which is currently advancing in the shape of a cross),
However, I counteract with a book
And I force him to pull back.
I win several more pieces from him
But, look! Half of my life
Has been cleared out to the edge.
– I will check you and you will lose your optimism,
He tells me.
– It’s okay, I jest easily,
I will castle my feelings.
Behind me the wife, the kids,
The sun, the moon and other onlookers
Shiver with every move I make.
I light a cigarette
And I keep on playing.