Čavrljanje / Чаврљањe (Chit-chatting)

Vesna Cvjetićanin was born in Yugoslavia and never imagined leaving it.  However, in the early 1990s, she found herself moving to Australia with her young family, and has been living and working in Canberra ever since.  A lawyer and public servant by profession, Vesna has recently delved back into the world of poetry that she loved so much in her adolescence, and is currently writing a book of poems called “15 Lines of Thoughts”.

Her poem, “Čavrljanje / Чаврљањe” (“Chit-chatting”), was written in Serbian, Vesna’s mother tongue.  See the poem in both Serbian scripts (Latin and Cyrillic), as well as an English translation (kindly provided by Vesna herself), below.

Zaboravila sam da
Neobavezno i veselo,
Opušteno i bezazleno.
Navre mi šala
Na usne, ponekada,
Ali se uzdržim,
Jer nemam hrabrosti
Da je pretopim
U reči
Pred strancima.
Jer sam stranac sama ja.
Jer sam umorna
Od objašnjavanja
Svojih nevinih nenamera.

Заборавила сам да
Необавезно и весело,
Опуштено и безазлено.
Навре ми шала
На усне, понекада,
Али се уздржим,
Јер немам храбрости
Да је претопим
У речи
Пред странцима.
Јер сам странац сама ја.
Јер сам уморна
Од објашњавања
Својих невиних ненамера.

It’s been too long
Since I’ve chit-chatted,
Casually and cheerfully,
Content and untroubled.
A joke mischievously reaches
My lips, sometimes,
But I curb myself,
For I have no courage
To recast the lighthearted thought
Into words
In front of strangers.
Because I’m a stranger myself.
Because I’m tired
of forever explaining
My innocent unintentions.

© Vesna Cvjetićanin, 2016