Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Eva Gerlach

3. NO THING

In the cellar I held my little sister on my lap. She’d just
turned four. I placed my hands over her ears
so she would not hear the loud banging
but she felt it and she saw the others crying,
she screamed her head off. Then I repeatedly took
my hands from her ears to hit her
so she should have something to cry about
someone to be angry with. When we emerged
and everything was ruins with arms and legs everywhere
she didn’t cry and said nothing and hid herself beneath the pot
that an apple tree grew in there she sat on her own
a day and a night then the men came then it got
so that things no longer knew us. No thing.
That’s how it became, that’s why we ran off. She’d just
turned four, my little sister, when it began, whenever.

3. GEEN DING

3. GEEN DING

In de kelder hield ik mijn zusje op schoot. Ze was
pas vier. Ik legde mijn handen over haar oren
zodat ze de harde klappen niet zou horen
maar ze voelde ze en ze zag de anderen huilen,
ze gilde aan één stuk door. Toen deed ik mijn handen
telkens van haar oren om haar te slaan
zodat ze iets zou hebben om over te schreeuwen
iemand om kwaad op te zijn. Toen we buiten kwamen
en alles kapot was en overal armen en benen
huilde ze niet ze zei niets ze verstopte zich onder de pot
waarin een appelboom groeide daar zat ze alleen
een dag en een nacht toen kwamen de mannen toen werd het
zo dat de dingen ons niet meer kenden. Geen ding.
Zo is het gegaan, daarom liepen we weg. Ze was
pas vier, mijn zusje, toen het begon, wanneer.

Close

3. NO THING

In the cellar I held my little sister on my lap. She’d just
turned four. I placed my hands over her ears
so she would not hear the loud banging
but she felt it and she saw the others crying,
she screamed her head off. Then I repeatedly took
my hands from her ears to hit her
so she should have something to cry about
someone to be angry with. When we emerged
and everything was ruins with arms and legs everywhere
she didn’t cry and said nothing and hid herself beneath the pot
that an apple tree grew in there she sat on her own
a day and a night then the men came then it got
so that things no longer knew us. No thing.
That’s how it became, that’s why we ran off. She’d just
turned four, my little sister, when it began, whenever.

3. NO THING

In the cellar I held my little sister on my lap. She’d just
turned four. I placed my hands over her ears
so she would not hear the loud banging
but she felt it and she saw the others crying,
she screamed her head off. Then I repeatedly took
my hands from her ears to hit her
so she should have something to cry about
someone to be angry with. When we emerged
and everything was ruins with arms and legs everywhere
she didn’t cry and said nothing and hid herself beneath the pot
that an apple tree grew in there she sat on her own
a day and a night then the men came then it got
so that things no longer knew us. No thing.
That’s how it became, that’s why we ran off. She’d just
turned four, my little sister, when it began, whenever.

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