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Many years ago, I briefly dated a wonderful young man.

  • He was gentle.

  • Soft-spoken.

  • A playwright and a poet.

I guess opposites do attract. In hindsight I can’t think whatever he saw in me. I was fire and flame to his oil and water.

But date we did.

It did not end well.

There was no official “break-up.”

Only a poem slipped into my mailbox.

For months now, snippets from that poem has been a constant refrain in my memory.

Every time I slip up.

Every time I’m unkind.

Or selfish.

Or just plain grouchy.

That poem comes to mind.

It has become a mantra, reminding me of my unworthiness.

And my constant need for mercy.

I share some of those lines (Yes! I’ve kept that poem all these years.) First in my mother tongue for those of you who can read and understand Afrikaans.

Then, a rough translation to the best of my ability.

It is typed on an old portable typewriter, black ink on red paper.


“Selfs in jou eet en slaap misluk jy.

Word elke waterplas ‘n modderpoel.”


“En ek stap weer alleen,

Alleen in die reën

Onder my sambreel.”


Even in eating and sleeping do you fail.

Bright water puddles become muddy pools.


And I’m alone again,

Alone in the rain,

Below my umbrella.

Cyber hugs and Blessings All. We are all so unworthy of God’s Grace.


Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

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