“Yesterday, yes, I still existed here”

Yesterday, yes, I still existed here:
in this pitiful winestain,
in these paupered words
way past their prime,in that handshake which I
will never manage to hold
in any of my handbooks,

and which under my table leads
the still life of a retired
country doctor.

Go on, admit it:
yesterday you also existed here,

when the sun turned up humming
and we took in the fact that
neither one of us, in this circus,
dared fight
the bear.

From Springvossen (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2000). By arrangement with the estate of Hans Faverey.