I am from shells, Marlboro Lights, and pita.
from the same old house I've been living in
since second grade.
I am from home-grown tomatoes.
From the ones our grandmothers planted,
their withered hands tending for them.
I am from going out almost every night.
From being able to swim for long periods of time.
From pre-nana Saliha, who knitted "papas".
From baka Zora, who calls every other day.
I am from "kifla" and "Sarajevo, Ljubavi Moja."
I am from Catholics and Muslims.
From what people would call mixed blood,
I am from Croatia, and Bosnia.
From halva, and polpet.
From the ones who came from where the bombs
fell and destroyed..
From the ones who met in a refugee camp,
from the place that no one seems to know
where the location is,
I am from the pictures that were burned,
ripped, stuffed in boxes, and shoved under beds.
Note to reader:
My Grandmother is going to kill me for calling her baka.... >.> And she'll kill me again for writing "Grandmother".
Papa: like a sock, but made of yarn.
Kifla: a loaf of bread, but in this context it means like shoo.
Sarajevo, Ljubavi moja: is a song, it was especially sang during war time in Sarajevo, Bosnia. It means Sarajevo, My love.
Halva is a treat made after Ramadan during Eid Al Adha and Eid Mubarak in my family. (Well... It used to be.)
Polpet is.. shoot. I don't even know what it is, my baka Zora makes it. I think it is ground beef made into a little patty, and covered with bread crumbs. Possibly, don't quote me on it.
Pita: I don't even know what to write. PITA IS THE BEST FOOD EVER. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
And the pre- before "nana" means great. So she's my great grandmother.
Hey, Erna. I know you're not active on here anymore, but I have missed your writes, especially this one. This is a piece that had hit home at the time and still gets to touch me deeply every time I re-read it.