One night I will return to my birthplace

One night I will return to my birthplace
to stand on my rooftop
and pick stars.

Father will say, “Look, There!
Don’t you see the Seven Brothers?”
I will stretch out my hands
and caress their unsheathed swords.
Then the nightly battle will begin.
Together we will cast out the moon-eating dragon
and in the dark corners of heaven
we will fasten each star firmly in place.

At dawn Mother will say, “Look,
There! Don’t you see the Two Sisters?”
I will stretch out my hands
and caress their jugs of water.
They are the messengers of the rain-making clouds
that disappear with the rising sun.

My brothers! My sisters!
One night I will return to my birthplace
so that under my childhood sky
I will find again my own stars.

— Majid Naficy
(Translated by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.)

A critic of the Khomeini regime, Majid Naficy fled Iran in 1983 after the execution of his wife by firing squad.

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