A little man without his mother

Mothers burn like butterflies,

wing-broken mothers,


always thirsty,

Lip-dried, lip-chiped, lip-wounded,

With a hidden jasmine on the doorstep of that long wait,

Bloated of the giant wound of absence …

I arrived that morning when the clock had stopped

You were sleeping the big sleep

You always wanted to tell me about your loves

When dad gave you the first kiss

And you had quickly wiped your lips and asked,

“Is this what love is?”

Then you slipped your hand into his chest

feeling the beating of his heart and got lost in it,

Ah mother, you didnt wait for me

Even though I had told you I would come at the end of April..

Your birthday was on May 1st

But you were tired of the long wait,

you could not wait for me anymore,

Then you shut the windows close

Pulled out the the black dress

you had kept in the closet for years,

Pulled out your shoes, your dress and the silk chemise

and your eyelids shut, never to open again,

Then, surprisingly, you got up and walked through the dark,

opening the world’s door and tiptoying

like  in a village dance,

only  the gate of your soul kept open.

You knew that I would finally come along with the storm in my heart,

To kiss your eyes in the that big sleep.

Where are you going? – gods asked

You’re dead! …

I go looking for my missing loved ones …

Your body was steaming

the last steam,

And I imagined myself wandering through your white steam….

I looked at Tirana then

And saw a little boy pushing an iron circle with a stick,

barefoot on those cobbled alleys,

through the house window came the music of the movies showing at the cinema,

And the noise of the carriage where triomphant Achilles is dragging

Hector’s lifeless body …

You danced so graciously mother of mine !

Do you remember how I arrived in the middle of the night fifteen years ago ?

it had been five years since i last saw you, it was midnight..

you were half asleep on the couch, waiting

I gently kissed you on the forehead with my burning lips:

You lit up my soul! – you told me.

Tonight I’ll sleeep with my son! – you told my father..

and he went to the next room shaking his head,


And you tucked me into your bed,

Thinking I was a child,

A 45 year old child …

That new born you gave birth to, was still in your arms.

That little man, now without his mother!

In tears I ran through the streets of Tirana

On this black, black night,

Looking for you

Your smell of milk and bread,

In vain I await tomorrow’s dawn

That brings your echoing laughter

And tells me that this life is simply a novel,

An endless love story…

And I left once again,

Leaping over mountains, skies,

A phalanx of disorientated storks flying, not knowing where to go

Not knowing where they came from,

While I was cold, so cold…

From that plane, thousands feet down,

I saw piles of brown dirt weighing heavy on you

dirt the color of a Rembrandt backdrop,

then, with my souli spoke: – “Go, go lie down with her,

and tell her for the millionth time how much you loved her … »

Your dried out chest doesnt respire anymore,

But I, I still have the taste of your milk in my mouth …


Traduction : Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga