Poems by Naida Mujkić

বাংলা English

The broken bowl

In my language, there are
40 words for cleaning,
But every woman has her
Own word she invented

My mother inherited her
Word and used it
Only on Sundays

She would take out cups and coffee pots
From the kitchen cupboard
Than exhaled hot air out of her mouth
On the surfaces of the dishes
She wiped it with a cloth
and drove out the shine

I spent my whole childhood
Making my palms in the shape of a bowl
From which water would overflow on
All sides of the world

My mother hated that I drank water
Out of my hands
Despite all of the glittering glasses in our house
She grabbed my hands and mercilessly
broke my bowl

Hungry eyes

I grew up in a house where
The word hunger was used
Instead of the word love

My mother knew
When I’m full and every time
I asked for a piece of cake more
She would say: “Your eyes are hungry.”

I would sneak up on the fridge anyway
And I would stare at the cake for a long, long time
But in vain
I was still hungry

I would take a new piece
Then another, until
All the sugar makes me sick

When my mother died
Her friends and family brought
Boxes of various cakes which they lined up
On the living room table

Everyone who came to the funeral
Wanted a piece of cake
They ate greedily
They ate for my mother’s soul

I was the only one looking at
The cakes that melted, because it was July
My mother was no longer there
And my eyes were finally full

NAIDA MUJKIĆ
Naida Mujkić (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1984). She received her PhD from the Faculty of Philosophy, and she teached literature for many years at University. Her work has appeard in literary journals and anthologies around the world. So far, she published 7books of poetry and she is also an editor of several books. She has participated in international poetry and literature festivals. She is a member of the Writers' Association of BiH, as well as the PEN Center of BiH. She is currently writing a “Paths” column in the literary magazine Publishers Weekly in Sharjah, UAE. She is also the author of the 4 documentaries about life in the countryside. 

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