Hagar Peeters: 'Shall I Walk with You Some of the Way?'
© Koos Breukel
© Koos Breukel © Koos Breukel
Friday Verses

Hagar Peeters: 'Shall I Walk with You Some of the Way?'

Hagar Peeters

This week's Friday Verses are written by Hagar Peeters (b. 1972, Amsterdam). We translated 'Shall I Walk with You Some of the Way?' ("Zal ik nog een eindje met je meelopen?") from the volume of selected poems City of Sandcastles (Shoestring Press, 2018).

"Shall I Walk with You Some of the Way?"

Why not. You may walk with me as far as the traffic lights,
or as far as the very next underpass.
As far as the third street on the right,
as far as the entrance to the park.
As far as the hospital, as far as beyond
the hospital, right up to my front door.

You may walk with me as far as inside my room,
as far as a glass of something or other,
as far as when I’ve brushed my teeth
or when the first morning light
falls on the chair with the clothes.

As far as when the construction workers start their day,
as far as when school opens,
the civil servants have their break,
the shops close
or as far as the departure of the last slow train.

As far as after waking up but before breakfast,
as far as after breakfast but before lunch,
as far as after lunch but before supper
you may walk with me.

(Dutch version below the photo)

"Zal ik nog een eindje met je meelopen?"

Ja hoor. Je mag meelopen tot het stoplicht,
of tot de eerstvolgende tunnel.
Tot de derde straat rechts,
tot de ingang van het park.
Tot bij het ziekenhuis, tot voorbij
het ziekenhuis, tot aan mijn huisdeur.

Je mag meelopen tot in mijn kamer,
tot het glaasje van het een of ander,
tot ik mijn tanden heb gepoetst
of tot het eerste ochtendlicht
over de stoel met kleren valt.

Tot de bouwvakkers aan het werk gaan,
tot de school weer is begonnen,
de ambtenaren pauze houden
de winkels zijn gesloten
of tot de laatste stoptrein gaat.

Tot na het ontwaken maar voor het ontbijt,
tot na het ontbijt maar voor de lunch,
tot na de lunch maar voor het avondeten
mag je meelopen.

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