I heard we were going up.
by Mischa Andriessen
My feet braced themselves
of their own accord.
The two men behind me grabbed
my upper arms, pushing me forward.
My feet found the steps blind.
I struggled and was manhandled
forced up as dead weight.
At the very top of the tower, I could tell
from the excited voices in the depths
a distance I could only estimate but somehow
already knew, just as I had seen through their plans
from my first step on the stone stairs.
They droned out the accusation.
I deny it, I said, knowing that would get me
nowhere, but where does it get you?
Grant me the honour of descending on my own
to those who stand there whooping
lawlessly. They tightened their grip.
But for the law we would have beaten
you to death right away, said one of them.
We've waited years for the law
said the other. Just think how things
would have been here otherwise.
I am fundamentally opposed to that, I said.
No doubt, they laughed. That too
is covered by the law.
Translation: 2017, David Colmer