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Greetings! This is a great poem, and I enjoyed your translation. Ghirmai Negash and I translated the same poem, which appears in our anthology, Who Needs a Story: Contemporary Eritrean Poetry in Tigrinya, Tigre and English (Asmara: Hdri Publishers, 2006, now distributed by African Books Collective / London). Our translation also appears at http://www.fascicle.com/issue03/poems/eritrean2.htm. Here it is:Abeba, my flower from Asmara…Measured and subtleAs her makeupAnd her finely drawn eyes –She spoke like poetry.The food her family sentTo prison everydayArrived as usualThe day her grave was dug.I heard her cry.Later that nightI also heardThe prison guardSummon her outAnd the shot.She lives in my dreamsAnd refuses to leave,Knowing all my secretsAnd never letting me rest.Before she diedShe wove a basketInscribed “for my parents” –
Abeba, my flower from Asmara…Who never blossomed.My cell-mate.
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