Remedy

Translated by Robert Hedin

When I was young, exorcisms were quite common, a remedy not unlike
ice baths. Plus, devils were shorter in those days just as people were.
They hadn't eaten enough fruits or vegetables, and lacked essential
vitamins and iron, grew thin and pale, fell easily into brooding
depressions. They looked more like deer than sheep, and when they
possessed you it was usually because they were fleeing from someone
else and didn't realize where they were until it was too late. It was more
a question of giving directions than driving them out. "Turn right at the
hairdresser's, go straight until you get to the abandoned schoolhouse,
then turn left. You should see the exit from there." "Thank you. I was
completely lost." "You're welcome. Good luck." "You too, and thanks
again."

Dag T.  Straumsvag, "Remedy" from At the Great Door of Morning: Selected Poems and Translations. Translation by Robert Hedin. Translation copyright © 2017 by Robert Hedin.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.