Lachrymatory

A lachrymatory is a phial where European noblewomen gathered children’s tears to make their faces more beutiful. Our mothers, however, gathered their tears so that they would have something to take to the graveyards.

I saw my husband off to war
I bought a bottle for tears
and invited the sun into my home.
And I told it to sit beside me:
so that we could look each other,
lest my room be empty.
And to shine on me while I cried,
while I filled the bottle with tears,
lest, without them, I should feel ashamed:
have nothing to welcome my man with.
Oh, Sun, you that look everywhere,
tell, how many times I have filled the bottle
and emptied it how many times, tell,
I am still crying, gathering tears,
to have at least tears for his grave.

Petre M. Andreeveski, in Anthology of Contemporary Macedonian Poetry (traduzione di Filip Korženski)

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