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The Lost House, a Poem by Farideh Shabanfar

Photo submitted by Farideh Shabanfar

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 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.


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