The sun shone down on Engelenburgerkade.
Clad in plus fours I rode there on my bike.
A backlight tinged with autumn
came over the Catrijnepoort
and cast the shadow of half-open shutters
onto the gable of an old warehouse.
And suddenly within myself lay stacked
a load of happiness that scarcely could be borne
yet was so light I wished to cycle on
through that gateway and across the water
into the world and never to return,
though my home’s here if anywhere,
as nowhere else would be my home.
And briefly all the pain was gone
of being young, of grappling hard with God,
with Calvin’s hold still on
my throttled throat.
That quiet sun, that instant in my head
when life was luminous soon passed.
Within the week all was interred, more dead
than living, in a sonnet firmly cast.