HOME / Tibor Déry translated by Elizabeth Csicsery-Bónay THE SOLDIER STOPPED by the gate to the house and stood for a moment. A rank smell of garbage, urine, and boiled with joy. It was exactly the same odor he had left behind six years ago when he went out through the gate to join his regiment. Neither in the Ukraine, nor later as a prisoner-of-war did he or less distant relatives, but they barely stirred his memory; none spoke to him in his mother tongue. But this . . . this smell was the first window on the left between the first and second floors cabbage seeped out from the tenement house in Angyalföld and, like a familiar motherly voice in his consciousness, insinuated itself into the soldier's nose and lungs. He swallowed hard and blanched encounter it. The closest to it were smells in the homes of more the smell of home; this smell was his country. He took a good look at the house. The dark-yellow plaster under had peeled off leaving a space shaped like a heart. It was a scar left by the past six years. He stared at it, then stepped through the
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1989
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