Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Poem

My friend wrote a beautiful poem a while back, and I wanted to share it with all of you, just never got around to putting it up. I keep going back to it as I end my service, and I think it's wonderful. The words not in italics are my own translation of Azeri, everything else is by the hand of Jackie Dent, a Youth Development worker in a tiny village called Zayam.

"Why I'm Here"

Ay qız (Hey girl)
Hara qaçırsan? (Where are you running?)
Nəyi axtarırsan? (What are you looking for?)

Funny you ask, because I’ve
just found it.
I found it yesterday
when my landlady flicked
out her bottom dentures with
her tongue
just to make us laugh.

I found it when
a package came from
my mom, from Amerikastan, and
I absentmindedly handed the bubble wrap
to my host mom
so she could pop it like the
sweet child she is.

I found it again when later that day
I saw her sitting on her
10 inches from the TV,
singing muğam at the top
of her lungs and popping
that same bubble wrap.

When it didn’t go away
I started becoming wary,
braced myself for the blow, the
rapid descent into the mundane,
the uncomfortable, that slow
nagging like a dripping faucet
or an incessant tap tap tap on
the shoulder,
reminding you that you’re not really home.

But hey, I found it again when
I remembered that I don’t
have a faucet from which
can drip because I don’t have
running water.
But I DO have a house
all to myself.

I found it when i stepped out of my
communal tin can toilet
to an aggitated male turkey that was
either trying to intimidate me
or mate.
Either way.

So dear xanim,
I’m always running, always
But it always seems to creep up on me
when I’m not even looking.

23 months. And it still comes and
It is nameless, but when it’s here,
it’s here.
And i can then recall the simple reasons why
I’m here.

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