Article By: The Press
The Waters of Bosporus Lie in Childhood
See where the elevator decked its doors,
where the footman sat next to the shining vessel and hid his glaze
and the knowing old men picked their seats or sipped their teas,
where trays held tiers of brown sugar and Turkish delights?
That’s the place to end the day.
In the morning you woke,
smells of feta cheese, green olives, and zingy kefir,
the hand-woven, rough rug and Evil Eye charms plaster the walls,
look at the misty view of the Bosporus Bridge sure to hold Mark Strand’s wit
on images and uncanny depictions in Blizzards of One (1998).
Go to the ferry docks in Üsküdar, pampered in your fluffed-up dresses and parasols
where the handsomest of Pashas tip their heads and fezzes,
and be, if you can, the highlight of their day and their Ramadan iftar,
then hold your Ma’s hand and hide behind her skirt.
See the white Turkish Angora cats meeting on the sidewalk. When you kneel,
they will cease, hissing against the narrow alleyways of a lantern light.
Visit the local Kahve shop down the street; barista lingers in the entry,
lighter in hand, a chimney between finger tips, but not for long.
Another glance and she is gone.
You are almost there, in the moment your parents will appear,
keeping you under the warmth of the summer sun,
above the bridge of rich culture and dulcet harmony,
where the waters of Bosporus meet your childhood stream and ripple beneath your feet.
Mualla (Mia) Ulas
Age 17, Grade 11
Whitehall High School
Whitehall-Coplay School District