Yolanda Castaño - APPLES FROM TOLSTOY’S GARDEN

I,
who steered my car by the shores of the Neretva,
who swept my bike through the damp streets of Copenhagen.
I who stretched my arms across the chasms of Sarajevo,
who at the wheel crossed the Slovenian border
and soared in a bi-plane over the Ria of Betanzos.
I who took a ferry that landed on the shores of Ireland,
and at the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua;
I who will never forget that shop in Budapest,
or the cotton fields of Thessaly,
or the night when I was 17 in a hotel in Nice.
My memory paddles on Jurmala beach in Latvia
and feels just right at home on Sixth Avenue.

I,
who once could have died in a taxi in Lima,
who walked the yellow fields of Pakruojis,
and crossed like Margaret Mitchell that street in Atlanta.
My feet trod the pink sands of Elafonisi,
turned a corner in Brooklyn, The Charles Bridge, Lavalle.
I crossed the desert to get to Essaouira,
took a zip-line down from the peaks of Mombacho,
I will never forget the night I slept on the streets of Amsterdam,
or the Ostrog Monastery, or the rocks of Meteora.
I who spoke a name in a square in Ghent,
who once ploughed through the Bosphorus clad in promises,
who will never be the same since that day in Auschwitz.

I,
who drove east as far as Podgorica
who steered a snow mobile across the Vatnajökull glacier,
and I never felt as alone as I did on Rue Saint-Denis,
I will never taste grapes like the grapes of Corinth.
I, who one day picked
apples from Tolstoy’s garden
I want to go home:
to that hideaway
I love the most
in A Coruña

that’s you.

Translation by Keith Payne