That beggar under a bridge of the River Sien
Crouching around the age of misery
With a bony dog beneath his feet
Thanks me for the donated Euro.
It will buy me bread for tomorrow,’ says he in English.
When I ask him where he is from, he answers that he is not a Parisian.
Destiny brought me here by accident,’
‘Someone whom I loved with all my soul,’ splutters he, with hatred.

But I am not from Eastern Europe,’ adds he, with contempt,
The place whose people pray to flee to Western World.’
(His looks at me with starving eyes).
 ‘I know,’ I say, ‘I am a non-EU national, too.’
The beggar grins and says, ‘It is impossible.’
‘Yes,’ I insist, ‘I am from the Balkans,’
‘And a woman named Mother Teresa,

Blood like mine ran in Her veins.’
I am a non-EU national,’ I repeat, and he grins.
It is impossible,’ says he, stubbornly.
People there are too poor to afford a plane ticket.’
‘Those motherfuckers wander about everywhere,’
‘Those motherfuckers do all they can to get passports like ours.’
‘They cost us too much, yes, too much.’
They and the Syrians have filled the camps in my homeland,’
‘They caused me to lose my welfare benefits

That I had been receiving from my government for 20 years.’
‘Cursed be them! Cursed be them!’
‘My welfare benefits helped me to travel.’
‘I could freely fly from one airport to another.’
‘Ah, those motherfuckers, one by one, had to go through checks.’
Thus chattered an EU beggar
To me, the traveler, the non-EU national...
His bony dog licking his feet.

 

Translated by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj