—Elisabeth Eybers (1915-2007)
Always a broom leaned against a wall,
meals never on time, if they come at all.
Days without dates through which she moves
empty and stubborn, slightly confused.
Ironing hung dejectedly over a chair,
gestures that come from who-knows-where.
Old letters unanswered, piled together,
papers and pills stuffed deep in a drawer.
Thankful to be part of your heart’s great whole
yet devoted to the limits of her own small skull.
O orderly biped, take heed,
leave her alone—let her read.
(trans. from the Afrikaans by Jacquelyn Pope)
For more about Elisabeth Eybers, go to www.dbnl.org/tekst/_low001199801_01/_low001199801_01_0032.php