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Forbidden Fruits



The small apple-like fruits from the tree
hanging there ready to eat
picking them is hard, I agree
The best are too high for you to reach

There was another reason why
you hesitated with others around
and would even seem too shy
to take one lying there on the ground

You once were forbidden to take and eat
what was not explicitly given by those
controlling your every day need
whose presence is still felt close

Three spoons of rice per day was the rate
and for those too sick and weak to produce
only one spoon went in the rubbish brews;
they even controlled the bugs that you ate

You must have taken in those days
with the deadly risks of doing so
because there were no other ways
to survive with rations that low

From the window I sometimes see
the tasty fruits you cannot resist
make you wander off to the distant tree
to take what you have strongly missed

Judged by the relaxation of your careworn face
the slowly gained confidence and trust
your fears finally fade at a steady pace
you really start to enjoy your lust

It becomes easier every day somehow
to simply ask for a favor or food
What is yours you can take by now
and signing your pay slip feels good

Phnom Penh, June 2006
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Submitted by ludy_b on October 23, 2021

1:07 min read
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Ludy Bührs

The topics she writes about are very diverse, so are the poetry styles she applies. As a Dutch translator and poet, having lived in Cambodia's capital city Phnom Penh for 2.5 years, in 2008 she published "Op de ruïnes van een rijk" (On the Ruins of an Empire) ISBN 978-90-8834-483-1 with 60 poems based on her experiences there. In 2007 she received a Certificate of Accomplishment as one of The Best Poems and Poets of 2007 issued by poetry.com and the International Library of Poetry for her poem Choked Truth, her own translation of "Verstikte waarheid", one of the poems in the book. Born in 1956, she still works as an independent translator, translating from English into Dutch. more…

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