A POEM OF THOSE DAYS WHICH DIDN'T BELONG TO US i — Was your name Stella, the aunt who lived in this house before us? Did you have children? And this picture on the wall, was it taken on your wedding day, dear aunt? — Was your name Stella, was it you who used to hang the washing on the balcony, before us? On the wall tiles, are they your finger prints? And the voice which still vibrates in the rooms? Oh, my auntie, my dear, dear aunt! ii You are the door shattered with a rifle-butt, the cotton fabric that clothes strangers, you are the cooking pot to feed the others. You are just a fading photograph, not even a corner for you in an album. iii If I could only meet you one day, I'd be so happy, ever so happy... I'm keeping all your photographs, little girl : — here is your birthday — under the mandarin tree, the cake with three candles — you, in the sea with Donald Duck — you, waving from the car — your parents smiling at you and now you're smiling at me. I'll give these pictures back to you, little girl, but from time to time all this weighs heavy on me, I am anguished : What, if they killed you during that war? iv I'm very curious to know who was this Greek-Cypriot reading this book? He stopped on page 48. Perhaps he was called up at that very moment? And, what is more, the title is : Man is not Born a Soldier. We could have shared memories, eaten ice-cream together, I might have dressed the wound on your hand, been able to wear your rain coat on a wet day. I would have liked you to know of my surprise at myself — how can I continue with your unfinished book, here, like that! v Smell of blood all around me blood. I am not a murderer, make peace with me, flowers in pots counterpanes, easy chairs, and the photograph in the album. I am not a murderer. Blood is flowing all round me blood. If only you had been there and witnessed : I am not a m u r d e r e r .