when she heard the mangoes
on the backyard are falling
she always asked you
“are they ripe
or they no longer wish to keep
but your body has been, for many years,
remained silent in a photograph,
a body with no blood.
for your living body has gone,
walked to unknown towns.
but she kept smiling and was convinced
the further you go the deeper you get into
her soul’s filled with spring.
she is patient as a well.
she finally bought a cell phone
though she doesn’t have your number
behind the wall i always heard
she asked you to talk
with trembling lips
“my husband, bring your lips
to the phone. closer. closer … ”
i think in these months the rain
only grains of water that move up
turn the yard and streets
to a ragged sea.
no voyage is able to arrive.
but she never turned
her belief about the rain:
wet light, her watery eyes and yours.
your eyes at upstream,
hers at downstream.
every morning she always woke me up
and told her same old dream
the stars grow in the sea
and you come take her fishing
at the bright wide sky.
before going to bed i always looked
at her eyes, asking without words.
and she knows the answer to the question
i keep on repeating
“waiting is a noble job, son.
so, now leave…“
we went to the beach.
she lied on the sand like a stranded clam
and the wind kissed a grain of pearl
from her sparkling chest.
she said you are a diver
who survived the abyss
that’s why she always came to the beach
waiting for you to breathe in
life from her heart.
she always cooks with her fragrant hair,
neatly combed and tied.
she always remembers one night, a month
before i was born, you spill the
cook and anger for finding
a string of hair got lost in a bowl of basil leaves.
she serves food wearing
smile and flowery clothes.
every day. as if you’ll come
she prays and eat quietly as she spoke
about the weather and glanced at the television.
she always worries about your health
she likes to sit in front of the mirror
killing her own face with a wet breath
then remove it by her own hand,
replace it with a prettier face.
i often stand behind her
so that she found my face
in front of her, sad and watery.
she will turn around, smiled and said:
crying is an effort to laugh harder.
go on, cry!
she circled each number on the calendar,
bind them so as not to loose
and by the end of the year she counted
as treasure. that’s how she
taught me to save.
be patient, she says, there would be a time
to withdrawn and have a party for the whole family.
she kept singing lullabies to her
eyes and pulse, and in my dream
i saw angels cheerfully
flew and perched from tone to tone.
i always sleep wearing smile
knowing that she was always in love
at dusk when she heard the news of your death,
pair of her eyes weren’t burning like hell.
eyes, she said, is a heaven for grief
while the grief is a soft and moist joy
mother always put you
in her heaven, dear father.
– diterjemahkan oleh Fatima Alkaff dari puisi berjudul ‘Menulis Ibu untuk Ayah’