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BEAUTIFUL IN BEAUFORT-WES (poem) - Gert Vlok Nel - South Africa - Poetry International
 
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BEAUTIFUL IN BEAFORT-WES
& jy was beautiful in Beaufort-Wes en ek was so verskrik & verskriklik lief vir jou & ek & jy het op grafte & op treine & op Ford Fairlane se agterseats gevry nou is jy & jou man both computer analysts & laaswinter you tried to cut both of your wrists & nou kan jy nie meer slaap nie, nie meer lag nie, nie meer iets vir jouself doen nie, nooit ooit weer vir my soen nie.

& mooi mooi mooi was jou woorde ook terwyl jy menthol sigarette rook & daai sweet sweet dinge vir my sê terwyl jy sweet sweet in my arms lê & die presiese woorde het ek presies vergeet ek onthou net die rook & die sweet in Beaufort-Wes & jou kaal liggaam onder ’n cool summer cotton dress nie meer slaap nie, nie meer lag nie, nie meer iets vir mekaar doen nie, nooit ooit weer vir mekaar soen nie.

& dis miskien soos ’n storie uit Die Huisgenoot, maar jy’t een aand skielik vir my weggestoot & in die rear view mirror jou gesig gekyk & gesê ‘miskien moet ek gelukkiger lyk’ daardie aand kon ek nie aan die slaap raak nie & het gevoel hoe my hart losruk uit my lyf & soos ’n roeiboot al die rivier afdryf ek kon nie meer slaap nie, nie meer lag nie, nie meer iets ooit reg doen nie, nooit ooit weer vir jou soen nie.

& die laaste herinnering waaroor ek sing is die nag toe ek & jy die melktrein aan & aan die nag in ry tot anderkant die ding dong gong van die breakfast waiter in die gang verby & dit was my wake up call my lief, jy het gesê ‘wees asseblief lief vir my’, maar ek het gedroom ons het in Beaufort-Wes gaan woon & ek kon nie meer slaap nie, nie meer lag nie, nie meer so iets doen nie, nooit ooit weer vir jou soen nie.
BEATIFUL IN BEAUFORT WEST
& you were beautiful in Beaufort West and I was so frightened and so frightingly in love with you & you & I had kissed on graves & on trains & on the back seats of Ford Fairlanes now you and your husband are both computer analysts & last winter you tried to cut both of your wrists & now you can’t sleep anymore, can’t laugh anymore, can’t do anything for yourself, will never kiss me again

& your words were mooi mooi mooi also when you were smoking menthol cigarettes & said those sweet sweet things to me while you lay sweet sweet in my arms & I’ve exactly forgotten the exact words I only remember the smoke & the sweat in Beaufort West & your naked body under a cool cotton summer dress can’t sleep anymore, can’t laugh anymore, never do anything for each other again, never kiss each other again

& maybe it’s like a story from the Huisgenoot, but one evening you suddenly pushed me away & looked at your face in the rear view mirror & said ‘maybe I should look happier’ that evening I just couldn’t get to sleep & the feeling that my heart would tear right out of my body & like a rowboat that’s floating away on the river I could not sleep anymore, not laugh anymore, not do anything right again, never kiss you again

& the last memory I’ll sing about is the night when you & I rode the milk train on and on into the night to the other side of the ding dong gong of the breakfast waiter passing in the corridor & this was my wake-up call my love, you said ‘wees asseblief life vir my’ but I dreamed that we went to live in Beaufort West & I couldn’t sleep anymore, couldn’t laugh, couldn’t do something like that anymore, will never kiss you again