The Apple

Alan Halo

Shingal, Iraq

 

I see a large garden
Vegetables and fruit everywhere
And my mother at its centre
She is planting a new apple tree
I see how the apple tree grows
With only one apple
My mother forbids us
To touch the apple
She defends the only apple

I hear my aunt at the door
Her pink scarf covers her bald head
She looks around in the garden
And finds the only apple on the tree
She goes to it, looks, pulls the branch towards her
And picks the only apple
We children grin and say
“Be kana u nha tue sanbe kan jea”
“She’s laughing now, but in a moment she is in for something”
Everyone looks at my mother
And at my aunt
And what happens is

Nothing at all

Shortly afterwards, the war came
We ran away
Into the mountains, across the mountains on foot
People lost their lives before my eyes
And left their children behind

Everything is gone, home is gone
The garden is so far away
My aunt has died
She left four small children

When I see a garden or an apple
I think of her

 

Alan Halo (15)

was born in Shingal in Iraq. When war broke out, he and his family fled on foot and by boat to Germany. At first he lived with his uncle and two brothers in a camp in Germany. Only after a year were his parents and other siblings allowed to come from Turkey. Now the family is reunited in a house in Oldenburg, but their future is unclear.