Professional

I had been taught to numb another with stuff
that tamed the soul and was allowed to lock
the door of the seclusion room

I was trusting and held a serious conversation
with a boy who had a passion for Nirvana
I let him be when he dulled himself with
blowing and put duct tape on the sockets

I had been taught to leave another alone
like the woman who couldn’t sit still for a moment, who,
unfashionable and scrawny like a greyhound
smeared crap all over her face

I was a professional and had my confidentiality,
didn’t gossip about the veteran with Afghanistan
inside his head, who, outside of society’s sight,
declared his fatwa and fired bullets at me

I did not feel responsibility when another man
in the time out room looked around like a wild cat
and called out: o Father in heaven, in your hands
I place my soul

Translation: Sanne Greijdanus

 

fakman

ik hie leard om in oar te ferdôvjen mei guod
dat de geast nuet makke en mocht de doar
fan ’e separear op ’t slot dwaan

ik wie goederleausk en hie in serieus petear
mei in jonge dy’t wei fan Nirvana wie
ik liet him moai gewurde doe’t er him suf
blowde en ducktape op ’e stopkontakten die

ik hie leard om in oar yn syn wêzen te litten
lykas de frou mei de ridel yn de kont, dy’t
net op ’e moade en meager as in wynhûn
har antlit hielendal ûnder de stront smarde

ik wie in fakman en hie myn beropsgeheim,
rabbe net oer de feteraan mei Afghanistan
yn ’e holle, dy’t bûten it sicht fan ’e mienskip
syn fatwa útspruts en kûgels op my ôffjurre

ik fielde my net oansprutsen doe’t in oare man
yn ’e time out keamer as in fjildkat om him hinne
seach en rôp: o Heit yn ’e himel, yn jo hannen
betrou ik myn geast

© Elmar Kuiper
Stienkeal (Bornmeer, 2018)