Messages of Love


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.

Robbery, Naked

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.

András Mezei

Translated from the Hungarian and edited by
Thomas Land

If you have any comments on this poem, Thomas Land would be pleased to hear from you.