Freedom in English by Angela E. Roe


If being free is: you be quiet
for I have something to say

If being free is: you behind bars, because
then we don’t have to be afraid
for all your being and doing differently

If being free is: rigidly determining
the day of tomorrow by allowing today’s day
to be a little less day

If being free is: closing the doors
and watching freely on the screen
what should have safely been kept at bay

If being free is: sleeping quietly all the time
because the voice of others has been purposefully
taken from them

If being free is: eating what and when you want
but dropping the peels into the newspapers
in which the hunger is being silenced

If being free is: not having to know what freed me,
keeps me free, takes me
prisoner in freedom every day

If being free is: waiting until the other
frees me from the fears I rely on

If freedom plasters my thoughts
If freedom blows everywhere around me
and inside of me
but is not capturable for you

If freedom protects me
against your ideas that are too
different to me

If freedom for me today seems so
evident, and you don’t
know what that means

Then freedom is tails for me
and a beheading for you
Then freedom is vapor, and arbitrary
But perhaps it does allow me
– with mutual appreciation of course –
to allow you some
of my abundant freedom
temporarily or for a longer duration of time
as to free you
from my suffocating freedom

Marion Bloem

English translation by Angela E. Roe