Under the Sycamores by Zeineb Yassin Translation by Charles Cantalupo and Dessale Berekhet
To boil you
But I’m too ancient
For the army.
To be the minister
And too bold
In this damn world.
Veteran fighter in Eritrea’s 30-year armed struggle for independence and mother of nine Zeineb Yassin – popularly known as Mother Zeineb – died at the age of 87 in 2005. Translated from Tigre, “Under the Sycamores” is a transcription based on her performance on 1/15/2000 at the Against All Odds literary festival.
© 2005-2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas