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Poetry

“Welcome, Norooz! Welcome!”


March 20, 2007
iranian.com

Hands imitate hands

My hands imitate my mother’s

Hers imitate her mother’s

and hers before hers

imitating through the years

back to King Jamshid.

Imitating,

I lay a feast for Norooz

a haftseen fifteen thousand years in the making,

*

And I bid Spring welcome.

I lay a feast of hafteen

Worthy of a king

King Jamshid himself!

Worthy of a dervish.

In the eyes of Norooz,

they are one and the same thing

*

Norooz will not come until

The blossoms are in bloom

Until I have swept my room

Until my sabzeh is grown

And the goldfish swim in their bowl

*

Norooz will come with the smell of lilac

With the sounds of “Eidet Mobarak!” and “Eidet Mobarak!”

With the taste of rice cookies,

With the promise of renewal, rebirth, and

new stories.

*

Norooz comes with words

from family and friends,

Some near, some far

Most dear, some far.

*

Norooz comes at the precise second

of balance:

light and dark

Frost and bloom.

Sometimes Norooz comes with the sun,

Sometimes with the moon.

For fifteen thousand years, Norooz

Has never come too late, or too soon.

*

No tyrant’s sword

No tyrant’s word

Has ever stopped Norooz,

Nor the hands that lay the feast

And bid Spring welcome.

*

And today I lay my haftseen,

Imitating,

And I say, “Welcome, Norooz! Welcome!”

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