Poem: I Exist.


I exist
I’m sorry that this offends you
That this threatens you
I mean you no harm

My grandfather is old 
Soon he will cease to exist in this world

My grandfather doesn’t like change 
Same chair, same clothes, same meal, same routine,
Like his cigarette with his coffee sameness is his comfort
But change haunts him

He has two surnames 
One ends in ‘ski’ the other in ‘kis’
He doesn’t know how old he is
When his birthday is

A birth certificate does not exist
The village, in which his new-born cries once pierced the air signalling his arrival into the world, no longer exists
As a name on a map.
Though somewhere there is soil that still remembers his childhood footsteps
Somewhere trees have grown nourished by his young spilt blood

Soon he will die, not on this land, but far away
And then who will he be?
What do you propose should be written on his tombstone?
Why do i have to ask you this?

He doesn’t know his name or age
He only knows who his family is
Who his parents were
His tongue still remembers how to effortlessly speak a language for which it was once burnt
He remembers the smell and taste of castor oil
He knows who was responsible
He knows who didn’t come to help
He knows all this 
He knows because he is Macedonian
He is Macedonian 
He is Macedonian
He is Macedonia

Who do you think he is?
Who do you think you are to have a say in this?
A Macedonian you reply?
Well okay
Have that written on your tombstone if you wish

He wants nothing from you 
You can have his childhood home
You can have his mother’s grave  
You already claimed it with your writing
You can have his name

He asks only for the one thing he knows

His identity

He is Macedonian 

Are you humane enough to allow him this?

The views of the author may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Macedonian Diaspora and Generation M.

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1 Comment

  • Ivanka Oetrovska
    February 2, 2019

    Прекрасно напишано Марија. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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