Mud Flat I

Where the waters converge
and the dry land appears
perhaps in the clay there’ll be a
last trace of his fingers.

Not land and not water,
also: no man’s water
and no man’s land.

A field or a sea of
round, wet lobes –
as if someone at a stroke
had sliced off the top of a skull.

I return there, as always
greet my ageing dead
search in the lashing or
caressing wind for what is left of their breath.

From Iconoclasm (Beeldenstorm, 1991)
By Michaël Zeeman
Translated by Paul Vincent

First published in The Low Countries, 1996