Poem for Farideh
The light in your garden feels infused
Like the tea you serve in delicate glasses
Beneath the trellis of grape vines.
The sun reaches through bundles of green pearls
To shine on the table
And casually transform the tea
Into vials of luminous amber.
Over the course of an afternoon
I learn the pleasing combination
Of a roasted chickpea
Wrapped in raisin flesh.
I see the majesty of a rhubarb leaf
Captured in concrete
As a pathway to mindfulness.
I smell the braided perfumes
They stretch like a fragrant cable
Back to Iran.
I think of my family’s braid
Of sauerkraut...wurst...rye bread...chocolate...beer.
I think of all the reasons people have
For leaving one place
To make a home somewhere new.
I picture you on the plane
Gazing down at the changing landscape
Asking the stewardess again and again
Is this Saskatoon?
I picture my grandmother at the pier
Sitting on her suitcases
A child on either side of her
Waiting for my grandfather.
I think of the leaps we make
When life shakes us
And we must jump or perish.
The trust we must have
That the earth won’t roll away from us
While we’re suspended in our flight.
That it will stay still long enough
For us to land safely
And start again.