Tayta’s House

By | 13 May 2024

Tayta’s house is like a second home,
A second mother.
We play our games on the Persian rug
That is saturated in patterns, it is made from wool but
is coarse against our bodies,
And for this reason, we are glad that it only gets taken out in winter.
To shelter our bodies from the coldness of the tiles requires our
Tolerance from the coarse rug.

The musalsal plays in the background
Like a buzzing static, their Arabic dialogue projects from the television, and
I wonder how the sound of a language can be so familiar yet so foreign?
I have learnt this before, I know it,
Though there is a struggle to grasp its translation.

Tayta is there to explain,
Convey their conversation in an Arabic that is more tangible to me
In a dialect that is digestible.

I never have to satisfy my hunger when I’m at Tayta’s house
Because she is always thinking about it before me.
Waking up to Jiddo coming back from the maneesh shop to feed us breakfast.
Zatar wrapped in a thin sheet of paper
Tayta dilutes the Black tea with milk for us
For we are children and not ready for the
Robust taste of black tea,
This will prepare us.

Tayta’s house always smells like a Lebanese recipe
Today she is making
Ros bi halib in bulk for the entire family
The aroma of rose water is the smell of giving,
It’s Floral notes welcome me.
Yesterday I watched her chop parsley
That Jiddo grew in the garden.
Tomorrow she will make maekaruna bi laban
For us to eat at lunch
A pasta coated in yoghurt, butter, and garlic
It is slimy, but reminiscent of our childhood.

Tayta’s house is nostalgic
Even when I visit today.
Its décor is outdated, frozen in time
It is almost nostalgic because I am still here
And I have returned, and how can you long to return when you are already here?
Tayta’s house is like a second home,
But it is the first home you learn about culture
And the last home to resemble you.

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