5/9/03
Rotterdam

The cars stop
And the bicycles don’t

The water in the air
Brings a cold ache into my right shoulder

In this corner of the continent
It’s as if being below sea level
Has made the language orphaned from romance
Though that comment hardly seems fair to the people here

The rough roll and rumble of the tongue
That traveled by ship around the world
Trade masters whose money still runs deep
As the oceans traveled on
How they were the foundation of the Afrikaans
The harsh cut of that speech started here and remains

Our goofy version of English,
Probably due to my proximity to it
(And my momentary contempt) all I have,
Our power forces almost everyone to speak to us
Rather than us ever having to listen to anyone

Then I hear the common words,
The arcane release;
Clues instead of question marks
Simple logic can then translate a sandwich

But not my need to understand.