Levochevo

early morning –
Low Cost flight
Tel Aviv to Sofia

I check in the hotel and walk
and walk and walk

there!
I approach the house of my birth
and ring the bell

A rented car
we drive south east –
the Rhodopy mountain

winding road
our destination
Levochevo

a tiny village in the mountain

red roofs
smoking chimneys –
the forest

A rented house – a week in Levochevo.
Steep steps.
A woman opens the door, lights the fire.

Easter Sunday
I stroll in Levochevo –
narrow winding alleys

An old man approaches and stares at me.
“Please remind me, who were you?
my head forgets so many things!”
“I’m a tourist at Valkanov’s house”
“Ahhh! The Valkanov’s house, big house!”
“Yes, it’s a family reunion, we’re four generations in Valkavov’s!
“From which part of the country are you
from?”
“I’m from Sofia”
“Ahhh! Sofia! You don’t give a damn about us in Levochevo! You don’t care! The old die, the young leave! Just look around!”

I look around

“A house for sale”
cracking walls
a new drainpipe

“A house for sale”

broken window panes no door
“Yes”, I say, “I looked around”

“All the best!” he says’
“Thank you, and all the best to you too”

a friendly old but strong handshake

Freddy Ben-Arroyo

Levochevo

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