Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Nyk de Vries

Down with a Cold

He’s not allowed out with this cough. It could
be dangerous for old people, that’s what his
mum said. He’s read almost all of his comics
twice again already. Three weeks without
school is a long time.

Three weeks, his dad said, that’s nothing.
Grandad didn’t go to school for more than
three years in the war. Hopefully this won’t
last that long, he laughed. Then we’ll still be
here in 2023.

But his dad doesn’t joke all the time.
Sometimes he stares at his phone. Just now
he whispered something to Mum about
money and freelance.

How long is it going to take, when will things
get back to normal? He heard yesterday on
the news that it’s impossible to predict.

In bed he thought about Grandad and himself
in eighty years. How will he look back with
his own grandkids on these strange corona
days?

He really doesn’t know, though one thing
does seem sure. He’s not coughing quite
as much. His throat is not as sore.

Verkouden

Door zijn gekuch mag hij niet naar buiten.
Voor oudere mensen kan dat gevaarlijk zijn,
heeft z'n moeder gezegd. Bijna al z'n strips las
hij al twee keer. Drie weken zonder school
is toch wel lang.

Zijn vader zei: Drie weken is nog niks, jonge.
Opa ging in de oorlog ruim drie jaar niet naar
school. Zo lang, lachtte hij, zal dit toch
hopelijk niet duren. Dan zitten we hier in
2023 nog.

Maar z'n vader maakte niet steeds grapjes,
soms keek hij lang op zijn telefoon. Zonet sprak
hij zacht met z'n moeder over geld en ZZP.

Hoelang zal dit allemaal nog duren, wanneer
wordt het weer gewoon? Gister hoorde hij op
het nieuws, te voorspellen valt er niet zoveel.

In bed dacht hij aan opa en aan zichzelf over
tachtig jaar. Hoe zal hij met zijn kleinkinderen
terugkijken op deze vreemde Corona-tijd?

Eerlijk, hij wist het niet, al leek een ding toch wel
zeker: Hij kuchte al een beetje minder vaak.
Zijn keel deed iets minder pijn.

Ferkâlden

Troch syn gekuch mei er net nei bûten.
Foar âldere minsken kin dat gefaarlik wêze,
sei syn mem. Hast al syn strips hat er al twa
kear lêzen. Trije wiken sûnder skoalle
duorret toch wol lang.

Syn heit sei: trije wiken is noch neat, jong.
Pake hat yn 'e oarloch dik trije jier net
nei skoalle west. Sa lang, lake er, sil dit
toch hooplik net duorje. Dan sitte we hjir yn
2023 noch.

Mar heit makke net hieltyd grapkes, soms
seach er lang op 'e telefoan. Saniis prate er
sacht mei mem oer jildsaken en ZZP.

Hoelang sil dit allegear noch duorje, wannear
wurdt it wer gewoan? Juster hearde er op it
nijs, foarútsjen kinne we net sa fier.

Op bêd tocht er oan pake en oan himself oer
tachtich jier. Hoe sil er mei syn pakesizzers
weromsjen op dizze nuvere Corona-tiid?

Wier, hy wist it net, al like ien ding toch wol
wis: Syn gekuch waard al krekt wat minder.
De kiel die wat minder sear.
Close

Down with a Cold

He’s not allowed out with this cough. It could
be dangerous for old people, that’s what his
mum said. He’s read almost all of his comics
twice again already. Three weeks without
school is a long time.

Three weeks, his dad said, that’s nothing.
Grandad didn’t go to school for more than
three years in the war. Hopefully this won’t
last that long, he laughed. Then we’ll still be
here in 2023.

But his dad doesn’t joke all the time.
Sometimes he stares at his phone. Just now
he whispered something to Mum about
money and freelance.

How long is it going to take, when will things
get back to normal? He heard yesterday on
the news that it’s impossible to predict.

In bed he thought about Grandad and himself
in eighty years. How will he look back with
his own grandkids on these strange corona
days?

He really doesn’t know, though one thing
does seem sure. He’s not coughing quite
as much. His throat is not as sore.

Down with a Cold

He’s not allowed out with this cough. It could
be dangerous for old people, that’s what his
mum said. He’s read almost all of his comics
twice again already. Three weeks without
school is a long time.

Three weeks, his dad said, that’s nothing.
Grandad didn’t go to school for more than
three years in the war. Hopefully this won’t
last that long, he laughed. Then we’ll still be
here in 2023.

But his dad doesn’t joke all the time.
Sometimes he stares at his phone. Just now
he whispered something to Mum about
money and freelance.

How long is it going to take, when will things
get back to normal? He heard yesterday on
the news that it’s impossible to predict.

In bed he thought about Grandad and himself
in eighty years. How will he look back with
his own grandkids on these strange corona
days?

He really doesn’t know, though one thing
does seem sure. He’s not coughing quite
as much. His throat is not as sore.
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