Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ellen Deckwitz

LITTLE FISH

I dreamt of a little fish. A boy or a girl,
either was fine with me. As long as it was breathing.

It would grow a beautiful tail.
All I had in my lower body was a fairytale

about how they kept on screaming at me 
until finally I’d be able to walk.

One day the little fish would swim away, quietly,
I wouldn’t notice like with the others

who weren’t as whole. My nephews and nieces
play with their water pistols, but my offspring

can survive drainage. On the kitchen table lies the atlas,
already etched an atlantis blue.

VISJE

VISJE

Ik droomde van een visje. Een jongetje of een meisje,
dat maakte me niet uit. Zolang het maar ademde.

Het zou een prachtig staartje krijgen.
In mijn eigen onderlijf zat slechts een sprookje

van hoe ze maar tegen me aan bleven schreeuwen
tot ik eindelijk kon lopen.

Op een dag zou het visje stilletjes wegzwemmen,
ik zou het niet merken zoals bij de anderen

die minder intact waren. Mijn neefjes en nichtjes
spelen met hun waterpistolen, maar mijn nazaat

kan tegen afwatering. Op de keukentafel ligt de atlas,
alvast atlantisblauw gekrast.
Close

LITTLE FISH

I dreamt of a little fish. A boy or a girl,
either was fine with me. As long as it was breathing.

It would grow a beautiful tail.
All I had in my lower body was a fairytale

about how they kept on screaming at me 
until finally I’d be able to walk.

One day the little fish would swim away, quietly,
I wouldn’t notice like with the others

who weren’t as whole. My nephews and nieces
play with their water pistols, but my offspring

can survive drainage. On the kitchen table lies the atlas,
already etched an atlantis blue.

LITTLE FISH

I dreamt of a little fish. A boy or a girl,
either was fine with me. As long as it was breathing.

It would grow a beautiful tail.
All I had in my lower body was a fairytale

about how they kept on screaming at me 
until finally I’d be able to walk.

One day the little fish would swim away, quietly,
I wouldn’t notice like with the others

who weren’t as whole. My nephews and nieces
play with their water pistols, but my offspring

can survive drainage. On the kitchen table lies the atlas,
already etched an atlantis blue.

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