Nicole Sealey, De earste minske dy’t de hûndert fyftich helje sil is al berne

 
De earste minske dy’t
de hûndert fyftich helje sil
is al berne

[FOAR PETRA]

Wittenskippers sizze, de libbensferwachting
fan minsken nimt elk jier mei trije moanne ta.
Sa rekkene wurdt de dea opsjoneel. As in strik
of in neigesetsje of lijen. Us mem freget
oft ik foar altyd libje wolle soe.
‘Dan soe ’k my ferfele,’ sis ik. En sy:
‘Mar der is sa’n soad te dwaan,’ oarssein,
se fynt dat sy in soad net dien hat.
Tritich jier lyn wie sy sa âld as ik no bin
mar, oars as ik, te beuzich om te tinken oan
fuortreinde fûgels. Hienen wy mar mear
tiid of genôch jild om bewarre te wurden op iis
oant ienris de wittenskip ús werombringe kin.
De lêste tiid fynt ús mem it libben mar
koart. Ik bin te jong om har te oertsjûgjen
fan it tsjindiel. De iennichste kear dat ik
yn deselde romte wie as de Mona Lisa,
siet dy yn in glêzen kastke achter koarden
fan ik tink fluwiel. Der is folle minder tusken
ússels en ferjitnis – hûd dy’t faak syn doel
foarbysjit. Of miskien is it doel hielendal
net beskerming, mar earder it ferskaffen
fan in plak, as de wachtkeamer fan in dokter,
om yn te sitten oant ien ús nammen omropt.
Hâld dyn fragen oan de ein ta yn.
Mem, mjit myn wiidiepen earms:
sá’n soad tiid hawwe wy noch te deadzjen.

 
Oantekening fan de skriuwer. De titel is ûntliend oan it Reuters-artikel ‘Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured’ troch Kate Kelland, redakteur Sûnens en Wittenskip.

 

The First Person Who Will Live
to Be One Hundred and Fifty Years
Old Has Already Been Born

[FOR PETRA]

Scientists say the average human
life gets three months longer every year.
By this math, death will be optional. Like a tie
or dessert or suffering. My mother asks
whether I’d want to live forever.
“I’d get bored,” I tell her. “But,” she says,
“there’s so much to do,” meaning
she believes there’s much she hasn’t done.
Thirty years ago she was the age I am now
but, unlike me, too industrious to think about
birds disappeared by rain. If only we had more
time or enough money to be kept on ice
until such a time science could bring us back.
Of late my mother has begun to think life
short-lived. I’m too young to convince her
otherwise. The one and only occasion
I was in the same room as the Mona Lisa,
it was encased in glass behind what I imagine
were velvet ropes. There’s far less between
ourselves and oblivion—skin that often defeats
its very purpose. Or maybe its purpose
isn’t protection at all, but rather to provide
a place, similar to a doctor’s waiting room,
in which to sit until our names are called.
Hold your questions until the end.
Mother, measure my wide-open arms—
we still have this much time to kill.

 
Note from the author. The title is borrowed from “Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured,” the Reuters article by Health and Science Correspondent Kate Kelland.

 

Ut Ordinary Beast, Ecco, New York 2017. Oernommen mei tastimming fan de skriuwer.

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