POETRY

Lill-Patata

Kont naħseb l’int imsejkna
għax umli fil-ħamrija.
Tħassartek meta rajtek
mal-bergers u naqra insalata
tal-allat merkantili
li għalihom int bħad-deheb iswed.

Iżda le.
Int għanja tħares lejn il-qamar
jitbissimlek
u x-xemx twennsek u tgħannilek.
Imħaddna mill-irtuba tal-ħamrija
mdawra bi twapet ħadranija.
Bħal poeżija li tikber bilħsejjes
imfissra bil-pinna
int tikber bit-tisqija.

Inti l-ħobża ta’ kuljum għal
bosta:
Tinġarr mill-bidwi, tinġarr flixkejjer,
Tinġarr fil-boroż, tinġarr millwejter.
Libbsuk diversi ħwejjeġ
iżda tibqa’ dejjem sabiħa
bħal meta toħroġ
mill-ħamrija.

 

To the potato
I used to think how awful it must be
to grow humbly in the earth.
I pitied you lying still
beside a burger and some salad
at the mercy of trading gods
for whom you are black gold.

But no.
There’s more
as you watch the smiling moon
and the comforting sun chanting for you.
You are embraced by the soft earth
and surrounded by rugs of green.
Like a poem blossoming out of noises
deciphered in ink,
you grow when watered.
For many you are the bread of life:
carried by the farmer, carried in sacks,
carried in bags, carried by waiters.
You appear in many forms, and yet
you remain as beautiful
as the day you emerged
from the earth.

Translated from the Maltese by Claudia Gauci