Dedicated to my grandmother


That old brick house hosted

three generations:

grandmother, mother, me


My favorite corner was

an open space living-room

with 3 tall walls and  

a dome-shaped ceiling


The third wall had a door

to grandmother’s bedroom

covered by a wooden door 

low enough so that she could

open it while sitting on velvet

mattresses laid on the ground


In one corner of the living room

there was an old red rug,

a pale, purple sitting pillow

that always looked like

grandmother sat on it

moments ago and still held

the shape of her body


During that  summer

she would walk graciously

to other end of the house

to pick up a freshly laid egg

from the chicken coops


Every morning she started

her “manghal” with a few pieces

of dry wood and coal,

where she made a pot of hot tea

and roasted an egg in its shell


Now after decades,

I think of her,

imagining that house

with an orchestra of grandmother’s

movements and voice,

in still moments of memory

exactly at a moment she

opens the chicken coop

and lets them free in the garden

the moment she pours tea

in fenjoon and picked up an egg from

manghal, with some ash on it


Eternal aroma of toasted egg

fresh bread, freshly brewed tea

with a few pieces of rock sugar   

kindness and love

on grandmother's  face,

are lifelong delicacies!


Isn't that all you need

to become a poet?


 *fenjoon= tea cup

*Manghal=metal tray with hot charcoal on which to brew tea 


Painting oil on canvas by Mahnaz Badihian