When she disappeared, she left her image behind in the mirror, where it wilfully obscured the reflection, making it impossible to see yourself, something that simply added to his sadness and despair.
His strange cousin did, however, have a solution. She placed another mirror opposite, so that the image was multiplied in the familiar manner and started to blow her didgeridoo. This combination made the mirror vibrate strongly, so that the image was broken up into small flecks, which glided around the room for a while until they came together as butterflies and flew out through the balcony door, which stood open.
But the mirror was never the same again. Nowadays, it presents a thin and worn reflection, so that you can see straight through your own face into a severe and stony landscape, beautiful and eternally frozen.
When she returned, her voice had aged by forty years. This was appreciated at the clinic where girls in crisis sought solace and security in this grandmother’s voice. But when face to face with her, many would grow confused. Could they place any trust in the smooth face and the gravelly voice, the sporty life of the cheeks and the drunken nights of the voice? Her eyes gave no clue; they were constantly flickering, people couldn’t remember their colour. She herself would waver, torn between disgust and pity. No one would have been surprised had she dressed in black and masked herself with kohl. But she continued to dress in red and wind her scarves three times around her slender neck. One radio station offered her a job as jazz presenter on a night programme, but she declined the offer. Can’t stand improvisation, is what she said.
Another of Bror Rönnholm's prose poems from the same collection is here.
Translated from Swedish by Eric Dickens