She was going to be angry, definitely.
You hurried, slowed, then
ran on some more, no time
for boys, you thought.
Out of breath, clothes torn
worn out from play you arrived home.
They were there, sickle feathers
on their helmets, bright
spit-and-polished boots.
Furious with secret shame
you convinced yourself in an unimaginable future
anger after all a sign of dissent.
They did not choose, heroes only
in appearance, beating mother and son
in turn until in front of everyone:
mother broke, gave up the hiding place.
You didn't look at her, followed your aunt
who waited behind their gleaming horses
until the rope pulled taut, she almost fell
quickened her pace, stopped, fell
in the mud begged for a sugar cube.
Mother walked, you had to look now
suppressing your fear, screaming after them:
And where do I go? A lash
your aunt fell again, pulled up again
Mother saw her chance to look back quickly
from her mouth a gruff
policeman's voice: Go away, please.

Translation: 2017, David Colmer

by Mischa Andriessen

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