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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 65 | volume XII | March-April, 2009



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 65March-April, 2009
Poetry

In Praise of Innocence

/8
p. 2
Henk van Kerkwijk

In Praise of Innocence
Family Matters
Beef
Wartime
Lightning
Vision
The Object Taken
Sent Packing

_______________________________________________________________________

Family Matters

He lived in a rough neighbourhood.
He shouted: 'Go away!' His head high
above me. His rib cage resting on the worn
windowsill of his second floor tenement.

Eighteen I was. My glowing face
a field of spots. My too warm ears
the prison from which my grandmother's
last gasps refused to escape. So I

yelled back: 'Your sister's dead… '
The granduncle I had never met before
(for reasons unclear, a quarrel long
forgotten), insisted: 'Go away!'

And I, neck bent backward, repeated:
'Your sister's dead… ' Once upstairs
he said, 'I thought you were a Norwegian
sailor.' Adding in imitation pidgin:

'No, no. No drinkies here.'
'Your sister's dead.' He pointed at
a somewhat uneven arch through which
two rooms formerly separated,

were now connected. Then showed
me a brick. 'I built it myself. They said
it was a load-bearing wall, that it would
never work. That it would come down!

Did I prove them wrong.'


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