Poetry in translation: Anais knits time

And the old clock in the kitchen stands still now.
Always quarter to seven.
The warm knitted stitches in autumn days forming, one by one,
a warm colourful scarf.
For friends, for herself, knitted in is the quiet, lost time
in this house. Quiet hours, gone and forgotten.
Like tassels of her imagination, the same.
Each carefully knitted stitch is a meditation, a prayer for peace, calm.
In turbulent, stressful days.
Opposite the cemetery, in a deserted village full of strangers now,
lying underneath collapsed tombstones,
overgrown with ivy and misty shrubs,
the old dead family members in their graves.
The quiet witnesses of a forgotten time, in which I went to school and played. Skipping
on their arm.
Four family members in one grave. “Now they can play cards”, my mother said at the time.
At the very last funeral.
Anais knits time and thinks about the days of old.
I add a pebble to the grave in the cemetery and whisper softly “hearts are trump”.
Perhaps the old can still hear me.
And I wrap a warm knitted autumn scarf around me, while I turn the corner of life
in a bitter wind.
Braving time.


This nostalgic poem was written by Flemish poet Renée van Hekken. I translated it into English for you to enjoy! If you understand Dutch, you can find the original poem on a WordPress blog called The Sausage Machine.

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