Gerrit Achterberg

November

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The low days of November
have again returned, gray as a pail;
at ease with the lessening light
on the faces of children.

The world has third dimension still.
The trees stand pitifully without cover.
By distinguishing everybody at a distance,
we must get used to the new flat surface
and walk high past the bare border.

The bicycles ride large along the way.
Winter passes along before our eyes.
The first cold hands appear.
Slaughtered pigs are hung out to die;
sobering the purple nerves of farmers.

The protestant days of November
fall a good bit apart on the calendar;
widows, existing on meager pensions;
public housing, that does little;
a row of orphan boys with similar features;
open gates in the empty countryside.

Sound of November explodes in the hunter's shot.
Further and further a door sinks into a ditch.
Honest churches hold services of thanksgiving
in front of the wash behind thin, poor glass.

Everything becomes singular. A grave
awaits its owner at the churchyard.
Houses grow further apart from each other.
We look into the holes of the year.

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Gerrit Achterberg