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In her last letter my mother was saying, I went to the old house in Kadikőy yesterday. The lock of the garden gate was rusty -- must have been from all the rains -One can't question God's blessings. A new neighbor leaned out of the window across the way: "They've been away for years," she said. The key became colder in my hand, Are the shutters cross with us, The first time in forty-five years? The green gage plum tree is all dried up... But the jujube tree is still there. Remember when we sacrificed a sheep under it; As the blood gushed from the struggling creature, You cried "There can't be a Celebration for the sacrificed!" Those who told us it was sinful to look at the sun had to renew their ablutions for prayers. -- Now I understand you very well -Yet when your father's Mevlud prayers were recited downstairs You too joined in "Allah hűmme salli alâ" Like the cooing of the pigeons far from the ablution fountain, their withered hearts were calmed. You may not believe me: You know how much I loathed the spiders, But when I entered the house today I liked them -On the walls with cracks bleeding inwards. After so many weddings, so many coffins There is still some life left even if it is unsightly. Smiles cannot last forever Like the roses that bloom in all seasons -I am grateful even for this much.
When Father died your eyes rested on the horizon, Trying to distract you we said: "He went on a long journey again." -- Like burying a sleeping bird -But maybe you knew that The longest grave belongs to sleepless birds. Not a single sound was allowed in the house, no whistling or singing Time had to be still for forty days and then the sweetmeats.. .. The neighborhood's poor knew that and waited for The taste of death. I thought the mirrors were longing to hear a whistle… -- Would you expect it from a seventyish woman? -I whistled to my heart's content, With all the coupling might of my lips; Against desolation, against decaying time, But before everything else it was a song of triumph For my house -A last call for love... And a prayer for forgiveness. The climbing vine the most hopeless and undying love. -- We should never have left our house. -What is the furniture inside good for? In the moldy darkness Some expired willingly; And the others are in their death throes. Only the climbing vine caresses the big house, In summer and in winter. Yet when it first shot up they called it "a weed", "Pull it up, it will ruin the building," they said. I think when we were away a workman came in, And added many more steps to the staircase. I went up to the attic again. The roof was always leaking -- After all it was an old wooden house -We couldn't keep up with the roof repairs. Now the tiles are all loose. Suddenly I see the sky! We, the women of those days long past
Always looked for heaven under our roof. Now our rickety roof Is offering us a handful of sky. It seems a builder said "Let's pull it down,” "and put up a five-story high...", truly there is no hope for it; Even if we did repair it would you or your children live there? Don't think this is a curse -Because it is not. I just wish I could die first Before our house dies.