Nag-Sha-Bendy Halfa!

Sanford Robinson Gifford a_sketch_of_the_nile_1869

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

 

Eyes crinkle in the corner

Twinkle with the memory

As I continue to tug on your 3aragy

Baba

 

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

 

Gently smiling

I sit at your feet

Your bald head shining

Sun rays bouncing

early sweat rolling

as you let your words

your reminiscences

skip and flutter around me

and you become

so

absorbed

so

elevated

in the recounting

of those days

Baba

 

Tell me

Tell me

 

She was right next to me ajooly, from the moment I lay to the moment I rise, she sung such sweet songs to me, engulfed us not only in her joys, but a serenity… at her banks we played, we immersed our brides to keep the evil eye away, we grieved for our dead, and rejoiced our newborns, she possessed, lived, resided within ajooly…   

 

Then the sadness came

a look

a fall to his shoulders

pursing to his lips

uneasiness

an awkwardness

as I lay my hand

Baba

 

Tell me

 

They say whenever a guest comes to your home, in their honor you slay whatever you have, be it a goat, a lamb, a chicken, even a pigeon and the day the Egyptian came, all of Sudan had nothing to offer but the people of Halfa they happily slaughtered…  

 

Anguish seizing

Wrinkles deepening

Hands quivering

age that was so graceful on his brow a moment ago

lifted a veil that I refuse to acknowledge

Baba

 

Will you go back?

 

The memory that I have in my head, I cannot replace for the reality that I will see beneath that water, the date palms, the banks, the boats, our homes, early fire smoke snaking so high above the sky, those colorful birds that arrived as the seasons changed, grazing herds as us boys dreamed away, procession of the groom would make it’s way, clapping, dancing, we’d celebrate singing in elation, and to look out at a placid lake that snuffed out all that I knew, ajooly how can I exchange my moments of bliss for a watered down grief?

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