My Holland

Windmills are everywhere
twirling ceaselessly in their centrifugal ballet
pumping water out of the canal
providing energy efficiently and inexpensively
as might be expected from the people who gave us the phrase
"Dutch treat."

Farmers pass by
their wooden shoes clitter-clattering on the cobblestones
wearing hats like boiling pots turned upside-down.
They wave and smile.
The natives are friendly.

Although the weather is perfectly clement,
Hans and Fritz sail by on silver skates
and the little boy takes his finger out of the dike
long enough to give me two thumbs up.

Van Gogh makes an appearance.
He is with Rembrandt and his women
drinking pots of coffee and laughing.
They offer me a stroopwafel, but I decline
concerned about my sugar intake.

This is a good place; it embraces me
and distracts me
from the black horizon.


Originally published by Language and Culture, Winter 2008