When The Running Stops - Poem by Oskar Hansen
When the Running Stops
In the enclose, outside the slaughterhouse, sheep were running in rings,
first to the left, and then to the right; in the end there was only one left
and it was too tired to run. I have lost two more friends, feel as I’m
the only sheep left in the enclosure and too tired to run. Heartache and
fun, we had it all in our adolescence. Then our way parted, but you never
forget a childhood friend.
Two years ago I was going to see them, a reunion of school friends going
back fifty years. In the end I didn’t go, knew we would talk a lot first then
fall silent. What we remembered was our friendship then and the past is
another country, as the poet says.
I knew the chasm of years could not be bridged, over meal and too much
wine. One of my friends sent me a photo of the party, a group of old men
I would have walked past in the street and not recognized any of them.
I put the photo up on the wall in my office, but soon took it down again.
Time is a cruel enemy I cry for them and me.
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