From the attic balcony
hidden behind the balustrades, early in the morning
we watch the liberation of Skopje in November 1944.
A young partisan jumps over the boards
of a yard opposite the street
and at the same moment he gets shot.
We could still see in the forenoon
the blood scattered on the squashy snow
like from the cocks that we used to slay with an axe.
* * *
‘Are we still going to talk through the barrels of revolvers?’
asks my father while early one morning they arrest him
and awaken me, my eyes wide open behind the net of my cot.
‘Don’t I have the right to eat something too?’
says my mother surprised by me staring,
and I know that if I keep looking at her she’ll start sharing…
All of a sudden my mother screams and blood gushes out from her shinbone
hit by some guard with the toecap of his boot while we are watching
how my father is being taken to jail from the court on a rope halter.
* * *
In the morning we found the net
from my daughter’s cot all cut in pieces
while she was still asleep virginally innocent
although she later confessed she cut it herself with scissors –
15 years later she left the bars of this country and stayed
with her mother in England, still sleeping restlessly.
* * *
The ones that used to slay the early cocks separately
are now awakened by the croaking of whole flocks of crows
that fly over from one stubble to another rubble
and they are so out of everyone’s reach –
while hungrier bearing leech after leech.