(1952 / Gent)

City Museum

hesitantly we follow the charted glass route
we immerse ourselves in a city map,
identifying places we know so well

we can conjure them up at night clear as daylight
there it is, between the post office and the
worn out park, where that willow used to stand

that had to be chopped down, and there is
the playground, the swimming pool, longing
seizes us, and we shudder as we feel our way

along the dark side of the streets here now,
in our makeshift plastic shoes,
there's a house along a railway line where we

didn't fall ill but we grew older,
we stopped floating, searching
for connections, and there on the corner

in front of the bookshop, that's where we'd often
wait for the tram, and in that waiting came the snow,
covering everything, us too

Translation: Judith Wilkinson

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