by Parveen Keynejad

Diluted watercolor. A painting,
my father’s past: Isfahan 1965.
His eight-person family well and alive.
Simplicity and smiles, sweet

grandmother gives dates
to him and his brother Ferehdoon,
little hands nibble that and the noon.
Happiness of a family resides here.

Six raven haired siblings
rushing running around,
tattered cloth climbing
the brown barks of childhood freedom.

September’s sun spills orange
angry heat setting ablaze
their innocent gaze.
Aneurysm rattles rough

striking in his sister’s brain.
Only five little blue boys remain.
No more warm welcoming sky
just mixes of grays and white light.

Death of dates, of simple smiles,
brown bark – all buried with her.
Father says still can be the same.
Yet, now, those colorful kids are tamed.

Adventurous desires
masked in black shirts.
Knees nourished in dirt
from weight of loss and prayers-
grief will be the only thing shared.