Benny Andersen

Cleaning Out The Medicine Cabinet

By Benny Andersen

Small bottles and tubes with aromas
of long forgotten blemishes
salves for vanished corns
pungent liquids for internal ailments
that occupied mind as well as body
for days and nights
but now are water under the bridge
replaced by more recent maladies.
Drops for the soothing of young eyes
that now have seen too much
although not enough.
Pills that either were useful once
or turned out to be useless
either way I’m not taking them anymore
and the reason for them is long gone —
former fevers
cleared-up coughs
dissipated pains
Transience
transience–
get rid of it all
Make room for the troubles to come.

By Benny Andersen ©1974 “Oprydning I medicinskab”
Translated by Michael Goldman