Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Rita Dove

Daystar

Morgenster

Ze wilde wat ruimte om te denken;
maar ze zag luiers dampend aan de lijn,
een pop neergekwakt achter de deur.

Dus sleepte ze een stoel achter de garage
om daar te zitten als de kinderen dutten.

Soms waren er dingen om naar te kijken –
het verschrompelde harnas van een dode krekel,
een zwevend esdoornblad. Op andere dagen
staarde ze tot ze zeker wist dat ze
wanneer ze haar ogen sloot
alleen haar eigen sterke bloed zou zien.

Ze had een uur, hooguit, voor Liza verscheen
pruilend bovenaan de trap.
En wat moest mama toch
daarachter bij de veldmuizen? Nou,

een paleis bouwen. Later
die avond toen Thomas opzij rolde en
zich in haar rommelde, opende ze haar ogen
en dacht ze aan de plek die van haar was
een uur lang – de plek waar
ze niets was,
volmaakt niets, midden op de dag.

Daystar

She wanted a little room for thinking;
but she saw diapers steaming on the line,
a doll slumped behind the door.

So she lugged a chair behind the garage
to sit out the children’s naps.

Sometimes there were things to watch –
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf. Other days
she stared until she was assured
when she closed her eyes
she’d see only her own vivid blood.

She had an hour, at best, before Liza appeared
pouting from the top of the stairs.
And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice?  Why,

building a palace. Later
that night when Thomas rolled over and
lurched into her, she would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour – where
she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day.
Close

Daystar

She wanted a little room for thinking;
but she saw diapers steaming on the line,
a doll slumped behind the door.

So she lugged a chair behind the garage
to sit out the children’s naps.

Sometimes there were things to watch –
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf. Other days
she stared until she was assured
when she closed her eyes
she’d see only her own vivid blood.

She had an hour, at best, before Liza appeared
pouting from the top of the stairs.
And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice?  Why,

building a palace. Later
that night when Thomas rolled over and
lurched into her, she would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour – where
she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day.

Daystar

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