October 2023

Sipke de Schiffart was the RIXT poet of the month in September. You can read his original Frisian poems from that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘boy,’ – is published here.


you will never read this, I’m afraid,
never will you know that my thoughts are with you,
that I won’t ever forget you

you represent so many others,
though you weren’t allowed the time
to write a diary

on a video I saw how you were grabbed
by an adult male, in your shorts,
with your skinny legs, how old – six, seven?

did they burn your parents alive,
shoot your grandparents, rape your sister
and chop off your little brother’s head?

as he walked your attacker held you tightly 
with his arm under your armpit,
an arm thicker than your legs

whose arm was it?

it belongs to every antisemite in the world!

I console myself with the thought
that not much is lost in a life
where something can occur
like what has happened to you

© Sipke de Schiffart
translation: Trevor Scarse

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