In a mint-lush valley

within the mountains of Western Iran

at the end of a street, stands a white house

that we called Grandma’s.


In the lazy afternoon sun

geckos climbed the rough walls of her yard.

A wooden ladder lay on its side

and red geraniums saluted the sky.


Mamman bozorg sat in the open window facing the garden

grinding dried yogurt clumps with wooden sticks.

Grandpa walked into the house carrying a box of grapes

and uncles and aunts gathered around the forever-brewing samovar.


We’d be in the yard, cousins and I

dolls in hands, feet in the shallow pool.

Our images, along with a lone cloud’s, mirrored below.

It’s all we knew, that moment, that sun, those geckos, the smell of tea, the laughter of adults.


Today, there’s no Mamman bozorg or Grandpa.

Cousins have grown, my father’s dead.

All we have left of Grandma’s house is the reflection in a pool

that hasn’t seen water in years.