Hajnal Csilla Nagy
When I wanted to take grandma
grandpa didn’t understand.
I appeared in the door,
told them where we’re going,
and that grandpa, even though
he looks like Kennedy
would look, if he would have lived
to be grandpa’s age, but
grandpa is not coming with us.
He’ll be governing the united states from home,
after he decides which states
he wants to unite. Grandpa can’t see the
colour green well, so there would be no
point in taking him to Scotland. He didn’t understand.
Where are you packing? he kept asking
grandma, but never waited for the answer,
went back to the first room to open
windows, I went after him,
I’m going to bring her back, I kept saying, but grandpa
was just shaking his head, no, and tirelessly iterated
that he has to go.
Days went by like this, I sat in
the corner on my suitcase, grandma
stopped packing, and just feebly watched
He was looking for something, I have to go, he iterated,
but not as if he was apologizing, or
at least explaining anything with it,
it was just the sentence becoming reality
by getting further outside of his head.
Finally one day I woke up and saw
that grandpa painted everything green, and left
the windows open, that night ivy
climbed inside, grandma was already awake,
she knew exactly what happened, but
never explained it to me,
grandpa was nowhere, left no message
behind, only the colour, living and dead,
that he could never see well,
but still created to perfection.
The other day she thought out that we would only
go to the beach after lunch, and before lunch we
wake up and have a coffee in town,
while reading the news of the day.
She also added, that she decided
she will become a man, and she
The only thing she lacks is a dick, she said,
but most man only has that on paper as well
After this she expanded her wings,
pulled a cigarette out from behind a feather,
and I reminded her, that this isn’t
a cheaper hobby than
She kept laughing, even
though for some time now she did not
find anything funny anymore.
I got my sense of humour from dad, right?
And instead of being offended, or
at least answering,
she just flipped the half-smoked
and flew into the room next door
on her unfunctional wings.
Hajnal Csilla Nagy was born in Slovakia as a Hungarian minority, in 1992. She studied in Budapest, where she got a degree in comparative literature. Her poems and short stories were published in various periodicals, in Hungarian, Slovakian, English, Serbian, Turkish and Azeri. For her first book, she was awarded the Makó Medallions award for the best poetry debut of the year in Hungary. She is currently living in Istanbul, working on her second poetry book and first novel, with the aid of the Zsigmond Móricz National Scholarship for Literature, and is the online editor of the Slovakian-based Hungarian literary journal Irodalmi Szemle.