The Legs of Nermin Tulich
sebiljmak-dizdarandric

The Legs of Nermin Tulich

To a dear friend and a member of the Sarajevo Shakespeare Society – (Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1992-3, and beyond)

“Nermin Tulich, a young Sarajevo actor,
lost both of his legs in the artillery attack on
the bread-line…”, Associated Press (AP), on
Bosnia’s misery

What has shorn off the legs of Nermin Tulich?
What madness has left them twitching on a Sarajevo street?
What screaming fear has doomed the city to slow death?
What brains, what nerves, what bones, what demons?

“There is special Providence in the fall of a sparrow,” he sang.
A sonnet rang, profound, derisive, light on his lips:
“Ah, wherefore with infection should he live
And with his presence grace impiety…?

A swarthy little man, a friend, a player,
Strutting and fretting his hour in the street,
Becomes, in a terrible instant, the news, a story,
To feed the ever-hungry ears and eyes, possibly souls,
A vital, life-giving, bit…

What has shorn off the legs of Nermin Tulich?
What brains, what nerves, what bones, what demons?
“Ring the alarum bell! Blow wind, come wrack!”
But, look, Nermin is dancing, wildly dancing, again!

Originally published in Grand Valley Review, Vol. IX, Fall 1993, p. 22 – © 2007 Ivo Šoljan

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