In Old Istanbul, the religion is really tavla, backgammon.
He had, among other things, taught me to play
so I went to the Grand Bazaar, the Kapalı Çarşı,
where I tried to haggle (unsuccessfully) to buy a set (successfully.)
In thanks I took him with me on a walk of the old peninsula,
and hand-in-hand/heart-to-heart we saw the Hagia Sophia
and the Sirkeci Terminali of the famous Oriental Express.
There too we ate islak burgers and simit pastries from street vendors
and had golden-brown tea and frothy coffee, Türk kahvesi, in a café.
As I stood alone on the Galata Bridge, wishing him really there,
I wondered how many others through the long years
have wept their past into the dark, flowing Bosporus.
Why-oh-why didn’t I learn his other game as well?
The poem and photograph are by a dear friend of mine, Sara. That is the tavla board mentioned in the poem. I am certain that she will enjoy your comments.
Thank you for reading With my belovéd. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain.
To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.
Photograph, poem, and notes © 2022 Sara; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 3.0 Unported License. The image is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.