One day when I was little, my mother took me by the hand and saidWe’re going to fill a jug with water at the Spring of the Reeds.And when we walk across those ruinsHold on to the folds of my dressAnd keep your eyes on the ground, son, to stay in step with me,Follow the chime of my ankle-bracelets to find your wayIf I’m gone for long, don’t wait for me.But remember – there is a sun holding its hand out to you gentlyIf your heart follows its path from that lightThe path will lead towards dawn. Don’t wait for meYou’ll follow morning’s chime on sleep under your eyelidsAnd the scent of roses on the bed of your stumbling childhood *Since I was littleA thread, unravelled from my mother’s dressHas been looped around my hand.
Copyright © 2018 by Yasser Khanjer
Translation copyright © 2018 by Marilyn Hacker
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Marilyn Hacker is the author of thirteen books of poems, including A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015), Names (Norton, 2010), and Desesperanto (Norton, 2003); an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices (Michigan, 2010); and fourteen collections of translations of French and Francophone poets including Emmanuel Moses, Marie Etienne, Venus Khoury-Ghata, Habib Tengour and Rachida Madani. She lives in Paris.
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