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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.52 ~ Hussein Habasch “Tomorrow You Will Be An Old Man” July 2022

TOMORROW, YOU WILL BE AN OLD MAN

(For me, in a quarter of a century, more or less)

 Written by Hussein Habasch

Translated from the Kurdish by Sinan Anton

Narrated by Bill Wolak

Germany/Kurdistan

Tomorrow, you will be an old man

The cane, always with you

You will walk alone

You will mutter to yourself like all old geezers do

You will become obstinate, hard of hearing, and slow

You will ask for help when you need it

But no one will respond

You will dream of the past

And the good old days

While your grandson will think of the future

And days to come

You will curse this vapid generation

Repeating itself like a broken record

How wonderful our generation was!

You will be the butt of jokes in the family

They will laugh at you and your positions

Which you think are right on

Your lips will let out a sarcastic smile

Whenever they mention words like “stubbornness,”

“Vigor,” and “faith in the future”

You might even laugh

Your bones will soften

Illnesses will roam freely in your body

Without permission

All your desires will be extinguished,

Except the desire to die

There will be no friend or a companion

Loneliness will be your support and comrade

You will always be ready to depart

The threshold of the grave will entice you and keep you company

All the angels will betray you and leave

Only Azrael will approach you as a last friend

Perhaps you will say just as you are about to go:

If I die bury me here in the strangers’ cemetery

Perhaps these words

Will be your final wish.

 

 

Hussein Habasch is a poet from Afrin, Kurdistan. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany. His poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Turkish, Persian, Albanian, Uzbek, Russian, Italian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Polish and Romanian. In addition, his poetry has been published in a large number of international poetry anthologies. His books include: Drowning in Roses, Fugitives Across the Evros River, Higher Than Desire and More Delicious than the Gazelle’s Flank, Delusions to Salim Barakat, and A Flying Angel. He participated in many international festivals of poetry including ones in the following countries: Colombia, Nicaragua, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kosovo, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Slovenia, China, Taiwan, Cuba, Sweden and the United States.

Muna Zinati is from Jordan. She was born in 1980, and lives between Amman, Jordan, and Washington DC.

Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and literary translator. He is an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University

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