By S. G. MORADI
We grew up on salty rocks, collecting bullets,
holding onto hope as if it were a jump rope that
come our turn, would go on spinning forever
our feet never failing us.
We ran through sunburnt alleys, kicking up
clouds of dust that were quick to settle
as if somehow knowing
that we had nowhere else to go.
What is there to say when
childhood becomes a thing
we get used to mourning as if it were
no different than some old shoe
or yesterday’s bread?
What is left when darkness stunts
the daring hands that could one day
have unshackled us?
My beloved homeland, I left your soil
out of necessity, not choice
but you have not left me.
Every morning my heart beats
to the rhythm of your seas
my soul sings the lullabies
of your glorious mountains
my nights are haunted by
the cries of your innocent children.
I fall asleep dreaming
of your floral skirt where for years
I laid my weary head to rest.
Today, I still find comfort in
the memory of its folds stained with tears
threadbare with maternal longing.
If life grants this wish we will soon
dance across your familiar soil, singing songs
of how dearly we missed you. When the day comes,
know that we ran across barren farmlands,
parched, weary with toil, and our footprints
are carved in the earth forever.
S. G. Moradi is an Iranian-Canadian poet and literary scholar. She completed her Ph.D. in English Literature at Queen’s University where she also taught as a Teaching Fellow and served on the editorial board of The Lamp Journal. Her previous work includes translations of the compiled poems of Omar Khayyam from Farsi to English. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine and Stoneboat Literary Journal.
Photos by the author.