The philosophers ran into one another in the street.
It was a whim of fate –
not one of them was missing.

Fundamental questions were not answered that day,
such as: who is happier than who,
and what purpose does happiness serve and what purpose loneliness.

They stood there together for a long time.
They held parasols over one another’s heads
and decided not to flinch
and even more fervently and even more accurately to long for nothing.
They nodded.
Then they thought of someone – each of them thought of someone else –
and cast down their eyes.

They greeted one another and continued on their way.

© 2001, Toon Tellegen
From: Gedichten 1977-1999
Publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 2001
© Translation: 2005, Judith Wilkinson