Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Miriam Van hee

THE PRODIGAL SON

first we heard voices, then we
saw it, two men trying to catch a sheep
on the other side of the valley
we wondered  if anyone ever
came here, so far from the village

they managed to turn the unruly animal
on its back, they tied its legs together
and what seemed strangest was that it
didn’t make a sound, one man stayed with it and the other
slowly drove a small van across the uneven grass
towards them, you could guess
what they were thinking, and their curses,
how the sheep would pay the price, and the violence

broke our day, for a long time we could still see
the car winding its way along the road, then
we walked on, in silence, a
radiant sky weighed on the land

DE VERLOREN ZOON

DE VERLOREN ZOON

eerst hoorden we stemmen, toen zagen
we het, twee mannen probeerden een schaap
te vangen aan de overkant van de vallei
wij vroegen ons af of hier
ooit iemand kwam, zo ver van het dorp

ze kregen het weerspannige dier toch
op de rug, ze bonden zijn poten bijeen
en wat het vreemdste leek was dat het
zweeg, een man bleef erbij en de andere
reed met een kleine bestelwagen
hobbelend over het gras dichterbij, je kon
hun gedachten al raden, en hun gescheld
dat het ervan lusten zou, en het geweld

brak onze dag, we konden nog lang
in de bochten de auto zien rijden, toen
liepen we door, we zwegen, een
stralende hemel woog op het land
Close

THE PRODIGAL SON

first we heard voices, then we
saw it, two men trying to catch a sheep
on the other side of the valley
we wondered  if anyone ever
came here, so far from the village

they managed to turn the unruly animal
on its back, they tied its legs together
and what seemed strangest was that it
didn’t make a sound, one man stayed with it and the other
slowly drove a small van across the uneven grass
towards them, you could guess
what they were thinking, and their curses,
how the sheep would pay the price, and the violence

broke our day, for a long time we could still see
the car winding its way along the road, then
we walked on, in silence, a
radiant sky weighed on the land

THE PRODIGAL SON

first we heard voices, then we
saw it, two men trying to catch a sheep
on the other side of the valley
we wondered  if anyone ever
came here, so far from the village

they managed to turn the unruly animal
on its back, they tied its legs together
and what seemed strangest was that it
didn’t make a sound, one man stayed with it and the other
slowly drove a small van across the uneven grass
towards them, you could guess
what they were thinking, and their curses,
how the sheep would pay the price, and the violence

broke our day, for a long time we could still see
the car winding its way along the road, then
we walked on, in silence, a
radiant sky weighed on the land
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère