In your city
When does the clover become sweet?
In my country, that year
It was ripe in the midst of February’s cold. (1)
I didn’t see the white steed
Tied to the gate, as forseen
Waiting for the Messiah. (2)
But the city smelled of clover,
And people’s nostrils
And the vast meadows
Looked wider than before.
And the city neighed with one voice.
January 15, 1986
1. February refers to the 1979 Revolution, the downfall of monarchy and the establishment of theocracy in Iran.
2. Throughout history, some Shia rulers kept white steeds saddled ready for the messianic Imam Mehdi, Believed to appear at the end of time.
First published in Majid Naficy’s Muddy Shoes Beyond Baroque Books, Los Angeles, 1999.