Homeland Is Me, It's You - From Riza Braholli Poem by Riza Braholli

Homeland Is Me, It's You - From Riza Braholli

You've put thousands of curses on your homeland,
endless praises you give for that other place,
the one, where you expect to disembark one day.
Tired of poverty, you know those many a way,
to flee into exile, you found the easiest trace.

Don't curse our land, I say, don't cause pain;
land is the word, the root that sprouts from the heart
it's your mom and dad, your sister and brother, it's your vein,
it is a neighbor, a friend, and each drop of rain
that knocks on the pane to bring mom's longing inside.

It's the father's feet that is coming at night,
with his heavy gaze, hidden under brow,
air that enters with a shadow-wrapped in plight
his dry cough of tobacco smoked with delight
your barefoot sister rushing to him with a wow.

It's a song; one releases his soul in the air
and you're filled with desires for your land
your soul takes the sun and you'll sing up there
the twilight turns into a voice, to … your lap fair
this happens here, brother, at these stones, at this land.

How don't I know, it's a wound for me anyway
day by day poverty, misery and boredom grew
there is no Monday, no Sunday or Saturday
we should sell sweat-and-skin for little money today,
but must we give away even our small Albania, too? ...

And I bite my tongue to give the word another trace:
may your pathways be blessed, and charming amulets withal,
but, don't forget, my brother, going from place to place,
if somewhere they curse you, come to your first base.
come here, for only here, you'll heal your soul!
05/05/2022, Tirana
Translation from Albanian into English
By Alfred Kola
Korçë, May 7,2023

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