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Rats | Tikus-tikus

4 November 2012

Rats

Rats stop me in my path
The rats now hoisting a flag
and looking cynically my way
The rats embracing a flagpole
legs planted stiffly on the garbage bin
The flag, of indeterminate colors
flutters in the night
Which way the wind blows is uncertain
The rats that cross my path and the gutter
fly their flag high, as high as a minaret
as high as a church steeple
as high as a temple’s peak.
Whose national flag is it anyway
that flutters in the night.
Field rats, kitchen rats, gutter rats, garbage rats
tree rats, rice rats, city rats,
stand in formation at the flagpole’s base
paying respect to the night rats
on their memorial day.

The rats that bar my way as I go home
together carrying the multi-colored flag
Laugh giddily to see me stop in my tracks.

Tikus-tikus

Tikus-tikus memotong jalanku
Tikus-tikus yang yang mengangkat bendera
Dan melirik sinis ke arahku
Tikus-tikus yang memeluk tiang
Tegar kakinya menopang di tong sampah
Bendera itu, tak jelas warnanya
Berkibar tengah malam
Tak jelas ke arah mana angin bertiup
Tikus-tikus yang memotong jalan dan parit
Mengibar benderanya, setinggi menara masjid
Setinggi toreng gereja
Setinggi puncak kuil dan pura.
Bendera kebangsaan siapa sebenarnya,
Berkibar di tengah malam itu.
Tikus tanah, tikus dapur, tikus parit, tikus-tikus tong sampah
Tikus pohon, tikus sawah, tikus-tikus kota,
Berbaris di kaki bendera
Memberi hormat
Hari agung tikus-tikus tengah malam.

Tikus-tikus yang menghadang langkahku pulang
Menggotong bendera warna-warni
Tertawa gembira melihat langkahku yang terhenti.

GGB, Sawangan 12/08/97

English translation by John H. McGlynn

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