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Affectionate

Affectionate

They are beginning to let go
of the surroundings they grew up in.
They aren’t different people than before,
just feel: the trusted hand, kiss on cheek.
It’s only we can’t find the world
that they arrived in –
Old and new books are, one after another,
opened and snapped shut in their heads.
Sometimes they relate (out loud or whispering)
of someone you didn’t know before.
Keep listening, slide closer.
Don’t leave them alone if they wander far
in other language that they speak.
Don’t convince yourself that there is little
in their lives that matters, take an affectionate walk
in and out of their days, until
a butterfly or angel closes the books.

Henk van Zuiden
translated by Willem Groenewegen