Bitter-Berry Daybreak


Bitter-berry daybreak

bitter-berry sun

a mirror has broken

between me and him


I try to find the highway

perhaps to run away

but everywhere the footpaths

of his words lead me astray


Pinewood remember

pinewood forget

however much I lose my way

I step on my regret


Parrot-colored echo

tricks me tricks me on

until I turn beguiled

to retrieve the mocking song


Echo gives no answer

he answers everyone

bitter-berry daybreak

bitter-berry sun


Translated from the Afrikaans by André Brink and Antjie Krog.

Ingrid Jonker (1933-1965) was a South African poet.

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