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Mohammed Omar Othman, 'The Lady of the Red Dress'

Mohammed Omar Othman (1957-), 'The Lady of the Red Dress'

(translated from the Kurdish by Muhammed Chawsawa)


Thirty winters have elapsed and
Though the storm’s hand has shaken the bark of her bole millions of times,
The heavy sleet has not been able to shutter the window’s gaze.

Thirty springs have elapsed, too, 
Without his bringing a hand to gift her a flower for her white, unkempt hair.

Thirty autumns have elapsed, too:
Along with her yellowed fingers, her eyes, seeds of Narcissus, have wilted,
     and the bloody 
wildflowers of Lady
her lips have crumpled.

These thirty summers, also, have burnt her.
Were she snow, she would have evaporated.
Two of her tiny teardrops
Are bigger than Zrebar, Khazar, and Zalm.

Thirty years before, at dusk, she in a red dress, held a bouquet, 
He, unsteady, as if on embers, searched for her, 
Careless of what accident waited for him.
They, the lovers, approached the crossroads, their meeting place.
Before they could join hands,
A car, calamity, took him from her.
In the street, blood streamed.

She, the distraught one, all evenings
In the same place, the same dress, and pain, and misery,
In the crowds of people, she looks desperately for her lover’s appearance 
Refusing to believe that he rests between walls of soil.

Her face has fallen, wrinkled, like an apple from its tree.
Still, she stands, still waiting, the loyal lady.
Damn this era that has forgotten her.

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