POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+
THE UNLUCKIEST DAY OF THE WEEK
Should you visit Istanbul,
as you pass through the imposing doors of the Hagia Sophia,
now neither Christian church nor Moslem mosque,
pause, and reflect.
Here were spent the final, dreadful hours
of the Christian citizens of Constantinople;
here they fled for sanctuary for the second and last time
before the invaders' scimitars.
here the blood once again washed the stone floors
and the screams of slaughtered women and children
echoed in the vast dome.
Would the Ottoman Empire have succeeded
in its conquest if the Crusaders
had not broken the back of Christian Constantinople
two hundred years before?
Five and a half centuries later
Tuesday is still the unluckiest day of the week in Greece,
for it was Tuesday, May 29, 1453,
that Sultan Mehmet II knelt, poured a handful of dust
over his head,
and then, rising to his feet, entered St. Sophia
to declare that henceforth
this hallowed Christian church was sacred to Allah,
to no God but God and Mohammed was His prophet.
Thus Santa Sophia became a mosque until the 20th century,
thus the Turkish flag depicts a waning moon,
to remind all that the moon was in its last quarter
when Constantinople fell.
Observe those massive, ancient ramparts
that lurch brokenly
around the borders of the original city –
the Theodosian Walls, built in 413 AD,
their ruins a tragic testimonial
to the catastrophic end
of a history no one seems to quite recall.
POETRYREPAIRS 13.12: 134