My Mother Did Not Become Beautiful

Reza Farmand

Video of performance


My mother Did not become beautiful
My mother was not able to
Open the trapdoor of her life unto love
Was not master of her beauty.

My mother was not able to
Avoid bearing children
Or secretly
One night
Feed her uterus
To dogs.

My mother
Could not scour away
The thick crust
Of human ignorance
As she could the burnt
Hardened rice
On the bottom of the pot.

My mother was not able to
Win her wings
And breathe the boundless
Air of knowledge.

I still remember your silent gaze
I still see the large print words In the adult education books
That the listless hands of your mind
Picked out from among herbs,
Rice and beans and lentils

In her, Stews repeated themselves
Teas repeated themselves
And the bubblings of meat soup.

My mother was not able to
Learn a spell
Become a bird
And one dawn of day
Break out of
The kitchen window.

My mother
Did not become beautiful
My mother could not
Dance on the rooftop
Of the century, freedom-drunk.

My mother did not have
The chance to take flight
With the wing-span of wisdom
From the abyss of dusty beliefs
To the apex of stars and letters,
To fondle the world
To crack Being wide open
And to become a believer
Of her dear And magnificent senses.

My mother
Was born in exhaustion
Didn’t see dawn or dusk
The chariot of time
Wheeled her by the hair In the thorny desert of life.
No one heard her voice! No one saw the look in her eyes!
And her face
Was ground To death.

My father
Coming to my mother
From the mosque
Strapped her
On the wheel of his life
With dusty accounts
And traditions
And she couldn’t enter
His ancient fortress
To oust the doctrines And dogmas.

The mirror they consider holy
The one they say Is the brightest of all,
I’m talking about the Koran
Why is my mother’s beaming face absent from it?

My mother had heard
From the minaret
That her eyes were wrong
And her mind a wasteland.
What if she had Endless roads?

Read the original Persian poem here.