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By Aida Bode




The little girl next door is practicing piano, while her older brother accompanies her with his violin. I listen to their struggle as they try to harmonise “Ode de joy” and look at my packed suitcase. It stays on the empty bed like a big open mouth, full with food, afraid of swallowing, because it might choke.

I feel unsure as if there’s something I’m leaving behind, and just stare waiting for any last-minute revelation of what I might have forgotten. I see the folded clothes and remember my mother’s words “If you fold them right, you’ll need less time ironing, or you may not need it at all.” A smile enters from the edge of my lips and then disappears down my throat.


I don’t want to leave!


I want to unpack everything, make my bed again, and put my unafraid of choking suitcase back in the closet. But two officers, that wait outside the door, expect me to join them and go with them to the port from where I’ll board a ship and sail back to where, they think, my home is. What they don’t know is that my home is emptier than this bed that I must leave behind. It’s burned down to ashes which have been stolen by a coward wind that walks backwards, afraid it will be stabbed in the back and worried there are not enough ruins left behind.


The music has stopped. The children are now outside and seems their harmony is in full bloom as they run after each other in a tag game.


I look at them from the window, knowing I am tagged and there’s no one for me to tag back. There isn't any piece of earth under my feet, either. I'm uprooted and thrown into the fabric of space, an element of capricious gravity, that ignores even my orphan state. I have no allegiance; no philosophy – only enemies of chance.

 

Aida Bode is an Albanian poet and writer, whose works have been published online and in print. Visit her website www.aidabode.com for her extensive publications. Aida is a Pushcart Nominee.