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Toon Tellegen

Translated from the Dutch by Judith Wilkinson

A Door

I came to a door and read:
Thinking About Death Is Forbidden.
I cast down my eyes
and stopped thinking about death.

I went inside and someone cried:
“What are you thinking about now?”
“About nothing.”
“Me too!”
I walked through gardens, climbed mountains,
waded through rivers, got lost in swamps and deserts
and only just managed to find the way back.
I came to the same door and read:
Think Only About Death.

“Are you thinking about it?” I heard someone call.
The scent of honeysuckle, the sun setting.
It was summer, freedom reigned
everywhere.