Can This Poem Make You Cry?

(Karya asal : Hasan Aspahani)

I wrote this from a messy life,
when age is a secret number,
yet it cannot be hidden any longer.

Can this poem make you cry?

But, hey, how dare I, to say that life is messy?
We may not be who we were before,
an unripe love to adore,
a careless care, with a blushed flush,
emotion in a letter to say the least
jammed between a chapter,
of Pancasila Moral Studies.

Yes, surely we are no more Marys and Billys
who folded our school shirt's sleeves,
and run truant to the matinees,
at a theatre screening teenish romance,
with titles that had a limited vocab
of 'love', 'campus', or something like that.

So I wrote this poem from a memory no longer reachable.
A get-you theory that had gone feeble. Because of that, would you cry?


I wrote this from a life - hmmm is there a better word than - messy?
We have swallowed the age pill - and that means we have a skill in deceiving how we feel.

Like, when invited to attend a reunion party.

Auch, how many decades had it been
a school skirt as your second skin?
that which you had stealthily shortened
from its official length as written
on a student rulebook you were given?

Hey, how do you now call a lover
who can never be? Laugh as if nothing is amiss - laughing at your own silly anxiety - when he asked the question,"do you remember our first kiss?"

"That wasn't a kiss," you dismissed, "it wasn't!"

That's it, I wrote this from a memory that so want to - though impossible - be forgotten, and so want to - though infallible - be repeated, so is there any use for a question so dry:

...can this poem make you cry?


We may now want to run from that love.

But, even if we try, can then life not be
hmmm - why have I lost my dictionary,
each time I want to write there's only - messy?

Actually, I should ask no more at a good bye, whether this poem made you cry.

***A beautiful poem by Hasan Aspahani. Wonderfully translated by Gilda Sagrado. You can read the original text in Bahasa Indonesia here.


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