Holub

While I was in Rotterdam
another of my years here on earth came to an end,
and I started on those of the next.

While I was in Rotterdam
a dog was thirsty in the afternoon of a hot day,
its owner turned on a tap by the entrance to the metro,
I saw the dog drink and drink and this made me happy.
I was sitting on some stairs, reading Miroslav Holub.
I smiled a little smile, making passers-by wonder why.

While I was in Rotterdam
two underground trains met on the overpass
under the balcony where I sat. One heading for Den Haag,
the other for De Akkers. They were both rush-hour-full.
Passengers eyed each other through the open windows.
Countless lives came so close as to almost connect
and then, unawares, fast parted ways and moved away.
I, high above, only heard the rumble of two rapid trains.

While I was in Rotterdam
another of my years here on earth came to an end.
I saw pass by me two magpies, an old woman on a bike,
a Sikh with an orange turban holding his daughter by the hand,
and several barges carrying multi-coloured potted plants.
And as the first day of my new year neared its end,
the thought crossed my mind idly
of how many years I have left to me.

by Roni Margulies

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