Letter To My Wife
My one and only!
Your last letter says:
"My head is throbbing,
my heart is stunned!"
"If they hang you,
if I lose you,
You'll live, my dear--
my memory will vanish like black smoke in the wind.
Of course you'll live, red-haired lady of my heart:
in the twentieth century
at most a year.
a body swinging from a rope.
can't accept such a death.
you can bet
if some poor gypsy's hairy black
slips a noose
around my neck,
they'll look in vain for fear
In the twilight of my last morning
will see my friends and you,
and I'll go
to my grave
regretting nothing but an unfinished song...
eyes sweeter than honey--my bee!
Why did I write you
they want to hang me?
The trial has hardly begun,
and they don't just pluck a man's head
like a turnip.
Look, forget all this.
If you have any money,
buy me some flannel underwear:
my sciatica is acting up again.
And don't forget,
a prisoner's wife
must always think good thoughts.
Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)
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