a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
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.
Sara Goudarzi is a Brooklyn writer and holds an M.A. in journalism from New York University. Born in Tehran, she grew up in Iran, Kenya and the U.S. Her writing has appeared in The American Scholar, The New York Times, National Geographic News, Scientific American, The Globe and Mail, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, The Adirondack Review and Drunken Boat, among others. Sara is the author of Amazing Animals and four other titles from Scholastic Inc. and has taught writing at NYU and mediabistro. She is a 2017 Writers in Paradise Les Standiford fellow and a Tin House alumna and recently completed a first novel.