Letter from Nusi
And now at last we are quite certain
we shall be taken shortly – but where?
Kolozsvár? Várad? Újfalu?
And then the wagons? Where from there?
But you don’t need to fret about us,
outside, the bags are all prepared,
the basket of food, a pot of honey,
a pair of backpacks, the bedding linen –
the cart is waiting by the portal
for grandma’s ride (poor gran’s old feet!)
and mum has sent a card to dad.
No time left. Still, what really matters,
the place is tidied up for winter.
Sanyikám, darling, I take my leave.
And tell our father he’s in my heart.
Whatever our lot, we shall be safe –
God shall provide.
You won’t be needing these, said he,
and flung my mother’s photograph
among his booty, and my shirt.
I still retained heaped on my blanket
the things I had to bring: a mess-tin,
my boots and socks, warm underclothes,
a bar of shaving-soap – and I had
that irremovable mark on my finger
in the place of my looted wedding ring.
Translated from the Hungarian and edited by
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