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Af Johannes Møllehave
(Skrevet til Kræftens Bekæmpelses
75 års jubilæumsfest i Det Kgl. Teater
den 23. oktober 2003)
As ChatGPT translates the poem from Danish to English:
Prologue on Silence
Is it cowardice or foolishness?
This helpless silence, I confess.
Why do all senses seem to freeze,
When the word “cancer” breaks with ease?
I recall each phase and stage,
When my mother faced that cancer’s rage.
“Say hello to your mother, how’s she doing?”
Suddenly, voices fade, the world’s pursuing.
And there you stand with the phone in hand,
An empty seashell’s sound in your ear, unplanned.
Only when words become so crucial,
Does everyone hush, like it’s crucial.
It’s cruel, that silent pause we dread,
Why, oh why, do you all stay quiet instead?
For heaven’s sake, please do respond,
“Just the way it is,” they say, and abscond.
There’s nothing more to say or convey,
Oh, how silence can scream in its own way.
After chemotherapy’s ordeal,
The same silence, hearts concealed.
Even your closest friends and kin,
Feel like strangers you’ve never been.
No one pays a visit or stays near,
Perhaps they fear my pain will adhere?
This silence makes me feel so small,
Their silence and mine, a heavy pall.
Silent times slowly march along,
As she bravely suffers, wordless and strong.
And that silence lingers still,
When she finally finds her tranquil will.
We all hope for the passing of days,
The ultimate healer of all malaise.
But then someone blunders in with a gaffe,
“I thought you were past it,” they laugh.
It’s just so hard to respond and say,
How long grief might haunt us day by day.
Haven’t we learned the power of speech?
Why then, do we the right words breach?
Though we know what words can mend,
We stay closed off, we don’t extend.
Why don’t we say a single word,
When it’s words we need most to be heard?
Why do we lack the resource,
To express ourselves without remorse?
Are you well, are you hale?
Do you have a decent tale?
Then speak with your mouths, don’t let it fail,
Words that soothe the wounds and frail.
Words that show you’re really there,
It’s hard to say goodbye, but harder to bear.
So whisper in our ears, let the silence cease,
Talk while we can still hear, find your inner peace.
And I implore you, please don’t close.
Don’t choose the first escape route that goes.
Ask yourself, why are you fleeing?
It’s SILENCE I fear, and its cold, lonely, eerie feeling.