Le tréport

wait, he says
do not leave yet
I never saw you with
this harbour behind
these gulls about your head

so we stayed
without reason
on the beach
the gulls searching
a departed ship
it is time
which goes somewhere
bearing our lives

sensing it we offered
brief resistance
for it grew colder
we sought food and
shelter for the night
as gulls,
for tomorrow is another day
even if no one knows for sure

From Travelling Money (Reisgeld, 1992)
By Miriam Van hee
Translated by Greta Kilburn

First published in The Low Countries, 1993