Sister is pleading with her friend;
Send me a picture of our house
Our old house that we abandoned
Without a farewell, with hope to return
Entrusting it with our youth and a piece of ourselves
Thirty years ago, she with her black hair, asked Friend;
For the sake of God, only one picture...
Friend is still promising
Every night, Sister sees the house in her dreams
With fig, pear and red berry trees like umbrellas
With blooming purple irises in spring
And snow flowers on leafless snowy branches
A rocket-shaped fish pool
Where a turtle drowns
Her dreams are full of Mother with moist eyes
Whispering a melody from behind her sewing machine
And a hen laying eggs by her winding hand
In a corner of Sister’s dreams, Father with a secret smile
Plugging the dirt in the garden
For planting summer greens
Or shoveling winter snow off the roof
Sister laments, the white hairs growing on her temples;
All I asked for was a picture of the house...
Which house? A passing traveler says ...it can’t be found
They knocked them down, years ago.
Farideh Shabanfar is a writer, translator, and retired teacher. She has published a short story collection in Farsi on the theme of societal limitations on women and has had both a short story and a poem accepted by English literary anthologies. She also has eight translated books. Farideh moved to the US as a refugee from Iran because she no longer felt safe. She continued her education in child development in a new land and worked with young children for twenty years before retiring to devote her time to writing. The poem “The Lost House” represents her longing for home.