In Memory of Saeed

One day my father called us and said:
I have three gifts for you —
A red heart, an hourglass, and…
O God, I don’t remember the other one.

Mehdy took the heart
Opened its two halves
And strummed the strings of its chambers.

I took the hourglass
And along its white sands
I fell from one half to the other
Asking myself:
What can be done in three minutes?

And Saeed
At age ten went to Paris
For heart surgery
And at age twenty-nine

He was executed in Tehran.
I remember him.
He had red cheeks
And strong hands.

March 1994

Majid Naficy, who is the author of more than 20 books written in Persian, fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife Ezzat in Tehran. He has published two collections of poetry "Muddy Shoes" (Beyond Baroque Books 1999) and "Father and Son" (Red Hen Press 2003) as well as his doctoral dissertation "Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature" (University Press of America 1997) in English. He is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

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