Jorma Etto, “Mothers”

fog

Äidit
Siellä ne, osastolla, synnyttäneet,
petinsä pohjalla pötköttävät,
tyytyväiset tytöt,
ruusun ja maidon makeassa hajussa,
mahdottoman mellevinä,
möyheinä möykkinä, hymyhyytelöinä.
Tupakkirullat tuu tuu tuotiin,
lirulirkutus lirisi,
tussutettiin, tassutettiin, tuputettiin,
lettas-sentään, tissin-tassin,
omenaista, olevaista,
pehmokaista pullukaista paijatella,
maamotella makeaista
ilo on, on onni,
nänni nauraa, koko äiti.

Mothers
They are there, in the ward, after birthing,
cuddled deep in their cots,
contented lassies,
smelling sweetly of rose and milk,
impossibly, incomparably cozy,
super succulent blobs, smiling jellies.
The cigars were ro-ro-rolled,
there was dribbling, cooing, and gurgling,
fiddling, tiptoeing, and foisting,
dear oh dears, pitter patters.
Joy it is, a happiness
mothering a sweet thing,
snuggling a soft chubby,
an appley entity.
The nipple giggles, the whole mother.

Source: Jorma Etto, Suomalainen ja muut valitut (Oulu: Pohjoinen, 1985), p. 52. Photo and translation by Thomas H. Campbell

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