The truth

By Marianne Koluda Hansen

I was about twelve
when I got the feeling
that the thing we call truth
probably wasn’t so straightforward
that was when the proposal for
land reform
was going to be voted on in a referendum
and our mailbox was
stuffed
with propaganda
for and against
and when I read it
I thought that it all sounded good
and that didn’t make any sense
but I realized
that the dirty reds
were not mysterious shady beings
but were among others
the parents
of the most popular girl in our building
and I discovered
that communists
probably were not grumbling men in
long black coats after all
who painted graffiti at night
and I more sensed than understood
that never again would I be able to
see a cause from all sides
at one time
and make a comparison
and I still cannot
discern things
but it’s hard to let go of
the feeling that I always can
look up the answer
at the bottom of page eighty-eight
and who’s the murderer at
the end of the crime novel
that you just have to
do enough research
make sure you talk things through
rewind
and see what happened
go to a primal therapist
and get hypnotized
so you can remember an event
from your parents’ early childhood
then all the pieces
will suddenly fall into place

and the myth of
the root of the problem
turns into a more and more
painful acquaintance
gradually as
the information explosion
hurls us farther and farther
out into space

but I have discovered
two things:

that the truth can never be found
only formed
by oneself
with those materials
that are on hand

and that that is no
excuse
not to try

By Marianne Koluda Hansen ©1980 “Sandheden”
Translated by Michael Goldman

This translation was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published by Apple Valley Review in 2016.