A Familial Renaissance Poem by Ali Alizadeh

A Familial Renaissance

Rating: 2.7

for Saf

Like the Italian one, my family’s rebirth
spawned masterpieces, caused a breakdown

like the civil wars of the Reformation
with few victors, countless casualties. Mine

a kind of persecution: bullied, beaten
at school for being a ‘dirty terrorist’ and

my resurrection stunted, my ‘new
start’ delayed. Immigration was more than

traumatic, abusive, for my father: defeat
and capitulation at the hands of employers

dreading a foreign-educated ‘wog’ without
‘acceptable’ Western work history. Mum’s

reshaping as an ‘Aussie’ almost aborted:
she returned to Iran (temporarily, it turned out)

when denied recognition of her degrees
by the union. I took up drugs; became a drunk

to forget the bullies, banish from my ears
the din of my parents’ jousts in the kitchen. But

my sister, a triumphant genius, the Leonardo
of this renaissance tale: the death of her Iranian

identity, followed by calm gestation – caring
daughter in the crossfire between workless father

and alcoholic brother – and then, yes, successful
delivery: a modern young woman, her alacrity

salary, property, paid holidays, etc. In photos
her posture, an homage to Michelangelo’s David.


salam agha ali khubid? az ashnai ba shoma khoshbakhtam man arghavan hastam mele shoma shere english khub nemigam vali farsi bad nist. age dust dashtin tu google esmamo search konid bekhunid. khishhal misham. omidvaram bargharar bashid.

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Ali Alizadeh

Ali Alizadeh

Tehran / Iran
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