POETRY

Il-patata-swaba’

 

Sejjaħtli bl-ikel ifuħ mill-kċina,

u l-ktieb miftuħ jaqra l-kutri.

Nann, x’qed issajjar? Il-kliem fit-taraġ

jidwi daqs is-saqajn jibilgħu

kull tarġa; isoddu ż-żaqq tgorr.

Ma smajtnix. Nann, nann, xi jfuħ!

Il-patata-swaba’ qed iċċaqċaq fiż-żejt

u titqarqaċ ma’ ħutha, il-basal

u t-tewm.

(Sraqtlek saba’

għax dahrek lejja.

Taf imma.

Taf li kwieli ħalqi.)

Fit-taġen, il-patata-swaba’

imbaskta, nann, daqs subgħajk

iqaxxruha. Subgħajk kollhom raded,

u l-patata minn daqqiet roti roti.

Jafu t-tindif, it-tfarfir, it-tisjir,

imma mhux it-tiġwiħ f’żaqqna –

fejnhom ħutek?

 

 

 

Potato-fingers

 

Your voice is calling me

from an aroma-filled kitchen,

the pages of a book unfolding on the blankets.

What are you cooking, gran? Words echo in the staircase

as feet scurry up the stairs –

absorbing the sound of a groaning stomach.

You didn’t hear me. Smells great, gran!

The potato-fingers are crackling in oil

perking with their siblings,

the onion and the garlic.

(I stole a finger

as you’d give me your back.

You know, though.

You know that it sears my mouth.)

In the frying pan potato-fingers

harden, gran, like your fingers

peeling them. Your fingers are furrowed,

and potatoes are wheel-shaped, sometimes.

They know the scrubbing, the dusting, the cooking,

but not the yearning in our belly –

Where are your siblings?       

 

Translation from the Maltese by Claudia Gauci