Wear And Tear

I had a blue pullover,
a cross between turquoise and sky blue.
It was my favourite, the one I wore most often.
We went through a lot together, it and I,
its colour let friends recognise me from afar.

It was a gift from Elsa;
time took its toll on it.

It thinned at the elbows, the cuffs became slack,
it sagged, wouldn't fit me properly,
holes could no longer be darned.
Finally, together with other old clothes,
my mother sent it off to a home for the elderly.

It was on a day
years after I had last seen Elsa.

Now, I suppose, there's an old man
wandering the streets of Istanbul,
walking into shops, gazing at the sea,
on his aged frame a blue pullover:
proof Elsa once loved me.

Translation: 2014, Savkar Altinel

by Roni Margulies

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