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Poem city poet Marjolein Westendorp

Before it became 2 minutes of silence at Meerpaalplein on May 4, city poet Marjolein Westendorp recited the poem she wrote around the National Committee May 4 and 5's annual theme "Living with War'.

Poem city poet Marjolein Westendorp

My grandfather had to go to a labor camp 

But he jumped off the moving train 

Hiding with only an oil lamp 

And my grandmother had to be mother and father 

I asked her how it was then 

And how she later, left it behind 

Pain, I saw when I read her thoughts 

For answer I did not get 

My husband works as a defender of our country 

He and his colleagues are constantly on the alert 

All around us the world is on fire 

I feel the fear of what is and what is to come 

We share our village with those who have fled 

Every day we see images of hopelessness 

Today we stand together on this safe square 

And we feel peace in all its fragility 

My daughter is still small and impressionable 

I understand why my grandmother was silent then 

For how could I ever tell her 

That war comes in an unguarded moment 

Words not only fall short 

Sometimes they can't be found 

So that you are completely silent 

For a minute, here together 

Grateful that we can and may be silent together 

Only our memories and thoughts 

Our sympathy for those in fear, sorrow and in pain 

And love and respect for those who brought us peace then 

© 2023, Marjolein Westendorp, City Poet of the Municipality of Dronten, on the occasion of the May 4 commemoration 2023.

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