Laura M Kaminski writes for Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature
Ta Je, Ta Dawo (Incubation is a poem composed in the Hausa language of Nigeria, written and translated by -Halima Ayuba (Laura M Kaminski)Ta Je, Ta Dawolokacin da na ke
kankanin yarinya
baban na ya ba ni
babban lãka tukunya

da kunkuntar

wanan tukunya
dumi daga rana

aka cika ta da
bushashen ciyawa
da kuma qwai
na agwagwa

baba ya nuna mini
yadda za a mirgine
tukunya da laushi

kowace safiya
da dare
ina juya qwai

sa’an nan wata rana
kananin agwagwa
ta fito daga
makogwaron tukunya

da ‘yan’uwanta suka bi ta
daya bayan daya

kalmomi suka
qwai na waka

ina boye su
a cikin zuciyana
a cikin duhu suka dumi
sannu da hankali

kuma ina yin rawa
rawan juya zuciya
rawan juya kalmomi
rawan juya kwai

hankali, Halima
kar ki fashe su ba

kuma ina juya
kuma ina juya
kuma ina juya

kowace safiya
da dare
ina juya qwai

sai sun kyankyasar kwan
da kuma tafiya daga
makogwaron na
daya bayan daya

ga ta
ga ta nan

*English translation:


when I was a small girl
my father gave me
a large clay pot
with a narrow throat

it was warm from the sun
it was filled with dry grass
it held the eggs of a duck

and he showed me
how to roll it softly
each morning and night
to make the eggs turn

and then one day
a small duck
came out of its throat

and her mother’s
other children followed her
one behind the other

words are
the eggs of poems

and I hide them
in my heart
and in that dark
they warm

and I dance
and yes, I dance

the dance of turning heart
the dance of turning words
the dance of turning eggs

careful, careful
careful not to shatter

and I’m turning
and I’m turning
and I’m turning

each morning and night
I’m turning the eggs

until they hatch
and come out of my throat
one behind the other

Bio Statement: Laura M Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives with her husband in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and the author of one English-language poetry collection and several chapbooks. More about her poetry is available at
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