Waal River

In morning haze, cut by the jetties
into soft white boxes, that lift themselves
reluctantly from the dark water, I came here
when the night had passed. Old hurt
I felt as new and without wanting it.

Already a faint glimmer glows above the river,
the sandy bends light up, turn gray again
below the tattered clouds drifting away
into the sky’s bad memory.

Here you turned over on your side and said:
An excellent spot, I think, to praise the day.

From Late Swimmer (Late zwemmer, 1992)
By Ed Leeflang
Translated by Pleuke Boyce

First published in The Low Countries, 1996