Monday 8 March 2010

A poem by the Dutch writer Simon Vestdijk

The final second

For Ans

Dying is the art of tolerating
Live images with equal resignation
As when in life they still were operating,
At times annoyed, yet could bring consummation.

Here our house stood; here she took out the dogs;
Here she removed brown collars, let them loose;
Here's where we once found stinkhorns, witch's eggs,
Well sheltered deep inside some woods of spruce.

Dying is not the poignant thought that she
Alone from now on makes those paths her beat, –
For no one is alone who waits and sees,
And no one mourns who walks along the street, ¬–

All of this was though: a reality
That lasts until the final second’s logged;
The real race against time will always be:
The collar off, and she with the two dogs.

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