Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Poem by Tjitske Jansen: 'Als iemand mij nou maar had opgeraapt'

If somebody had only
picked me up
and stuffed me into his pocket
and left me there,
that a hand found me now and then
felt how soft I was
and then let go again.
Or placed on the window sill,
on a bedside table,
in a junk box.
The kitchen drawer!
I’ve never been on a journey yet,
Why did I have to take root.
If somebody had only picked me up,
there wouldn’t have been any problem,
I would have been chestnut brown,
I would have gleamed, gleamed,
a bit later begun to wrinkle a bit,
and then, well yes, but now,
now against my will I’ve got to transform
and not such a little bit either.
And always just as I’ve roughly
got used to my new shape,
always when I’ve more or less
that I am as I am,
I’m something else again.
And if it had been so that I had chosen
to be so, that I wanted to be so:
ring after ring,
so many of the same sort on my branches
in their safe prickly house,
so different from myself,
but how I do remember.

I have given up
being as I am.
I just grow along
with who I am to become.
Now and then I hear
somebody say
How beautiful I am.
In my shadow
things happen
that are worth the trouble.

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