Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga (Albania)

Miranda Shehu-Xhilaga (Albania)
Miranda Xhilaga is a physician (Tirana University), a scientist (PhD, Monash University) and an Adjunct Associate Professor (Deakin University), living in Melbourne, Australia, since 1995. She has a passion for writing and translating poetry form Albanian in English and vice versa and is a strong believer that translation, as an art between tongues, has the capacity to raise awareness about another culture, its people, their perception of life and beauty. She is the author of (This Pain is Mine), a collection of original poems published in Albanian (Albas Publishing, 2019) and translator of Bantam, an anthology of Albanian verse, published by Austin Macauley Publishers, London. Her original and translated poetry has appeared in many periodicals such as Illz and dedicated on line literary websites such as Atunis and FEKT (Fund for Cultural education and Heritage).
The little girl skating on ice
With her chin up and head too high
And the fear of tripping deep in her heart
In her snow-white dress and her perfect moves
Eager to please and scared to lose
the life game?
She’s me.
The mother with a baby in her arms
With tears of joy down her face
And the fear of failing to love well
With her dripping breasts and her uncombed hair
Scared of becoming less (for him)
She’s me.
The woman with silver hair
Looking ahead where the road ends
Dreading the chilly and lonely nights
In her little nighty, with shaking hands
Knitting a pair of woollen gloves?
She’s me.
But see that porch with two brown chairs
With a little table and half-filled goblets
A yellow book and a nightingale
that sings and often stays a while?
That’s where I sit with you
and smile…
The day has come…
There is coffee on the kitchen table
Toast and honey on the plate
And half of an orange.
And then, then comes that kiss on my forehead…
The day has come
Just like that…
You want to stay.
Then stay.
You want to go
Then go.
You want to stay now and go later.
Stay a while and then go.
You want to go and perhaps come back.
Tulip season ends
They won’t breathe then…
People don’t sleep for different reasons:
The hungry, from pain
The overfed, from pain
Lovers, from pain
The jealous, from pain
The ignored, from pain
The sick, from pain
The wounded, from pain
The mad, from pain
Losers from pain.
The displaced, from pain
The pained, from pain…and it just goes on.
People don’t sleep for different reasons.

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