Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Poem by the Dutch poet C. Buddingh’


My father was so wonderful at doing a lion:
He would crouch under the table, suddenly
shoot out with a roar and chase you
round the whole room till he caught you.

When my sons were small, I mostly did
a fox: I would dress up as an old woman
that came begging for a glass of water or
a crust of bread – and then seize them in triumph.

How much time did I spend on this altogether?
Five hours perhaps: a hundredth thousandth part
‘of my allotted span here on this earth’.

I have lived through a world war
and so much that seemed enormously important.
Dead as a door-nail now. But lion and fox live on.

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