Restricted Living

translated by Tommy Carlson

When I was in Sweden in 1997, I met a wonderful painter and poet, Kjell Walfridsson. I was struck by his painting "On Our Way" and the accompanying poem about what it feels like to come out of a cramped space. The hope of a new day spoke so clearly to me that I bought the painting and enjoy looking at it every day. --Tommy Carlson


Jag har varit trångbodd
i så många år
dagar försvinner
åren de går
En dag jag känner
från havet en bris
Den värmer mitt inre
och smälter min is
Det finns glömda dörrar
som leder någonstans
fast jag aldrig vågat
tro att de fanns

I have lived restricted
for so many years
the days they vanish
the years disappear
One day I feel
from the ocean a breeze
It warms my inside
and melts my ice
There are doors forgotten
that lead somewhere
though I never dared
believe they existed

-- Kjell Walfridsson