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Music of Tatars with a Never-Ending Refrain

My haminne, my great-grandmother
hums as she cut the noodles
into smaller and smaller pieces
for my favorite lakşa soup,
raising both her arms from time to time
and swinging left and right.
Murmuring Forest
Then suddenly deep wrinkles,
the trunk of an old tree \\\
an old tree \\\

My mischievous uncle Zeki,
whistles, holding my hand
and looking down at me
on our way to the movies
(Quo Vadis? Rebel Without Cause
Love Is Many-Splendored Thing)
Nightingale You Are So Tiny.
Then suddenly from his mouth
crows, pigeons, and sparrows ///
pigeons, sparrows ///

My mother teaches her five sisters
how to dance kaytarma: Arms to move to the sides,
hands back and forth in half-circles,
embroidered handkerchieves to float freely…
When they form a circle, they stop
and sing almost in unison:
Is Your Birth-Place Gold?
Then suddenly snow flakes
instead of their joy-burdened glances \\\
burden of glances \\\

BLANK BLANK BLANK as the tanks
of yet another occupying army,
roll to the main square of Bahçesaray,
to the heart of Tatar Crimea.
Then suddenly |||
suddenly |||
suddenly |||



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