Forefathers, Downstairs Neighbours - Poem by Mustafa Stitou
Some forefathers, we now know, dreamed God
and from this our world of finite things came forth.
It was they who once offered a child to something
all-powerful and invisible.
We also know that some dogs -
That some people begin to resemble their pets
after a while. Sometimes
it's absurd to look at, mostly it goes unnoticed.
My downstairs neighbours, childless as it happens,
always hold my shopping and ask me in a hushed
voice whether they're bothering me and if they can
Other forefathers were at a loss what to do with death
or birth for that matter, in every new-born child they saw
a dead forefather. And the confused faith they founded
has been haunting our genes ever since;
my downstairs neighbours have confided to me they will
and wish to reincarnate as mild-mannered animals, as bees.
Translation: 2004, Willem Groenewegen
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