Daughter, how many years does a woman
have? You are now shapeless and I a lice
ridden old man. You knew all the Koran
by heart. You could wrestle any boy twice
your weight. The long bow sang only for you.
So did the war ax. Now I itch with grief.
From the vast and bleak steppe country a few
worn sobs can be heard. There is no relief
for the father I’ve become. I despair.
I’m lost beyond words. All I know now fails
me; all because of some mongrel swordsman.
Somewhere in a grave you hide; with your hair
that has stopped growing; and your tiny nails
that will never need to be cut again.