Shiva Shakoori


I Don'T Remember - Poem by Shiva Shakoori

I don't remember how suddenly I fell in love at first sight.
All I remember is that I rebelled against everyone's wish.
I broke my mum's heart and my dad's pride
yet, my dad bought the silk, my mum stayed up all night to sew,
for me to find myself in a beautifully made bridal dress, the next day

When I was brought to alter, I watched my dad welcoming the guests
My mum and sister were offering to everyone sweets and sherbet.
The high spirited music was vibrating through the house,
My aunties were throwing sugar balls and coins at my feet
Young girls were shouting 'LiLiLi' with their lips hidden under their palms

After two years of battling for my desire, I sensed an intense pang of regret.
The feeling of sorrow engorged my throat.
My grandma came to us with a gold-plated censer of hot charcoal over our heads.
She blessed us with holy aromas of burning frankincense and cinnamon and muttered a prayer...
The happy children racing to gather more sugar balls, the young boys clapping and the elder faces smiling; all of that made me release my swelled tears.

An inner voice whispered, 'Don't go through with this'
My father's voice echoed in my mind: 'Marriage is not a dress that you can change it as and when you wish.'
I lost my courage between battles of voices.
This was the end; I surrendered.
I don't remember my vows, spoken to the priest. All I remember is the bursting sound of the eggs, stuffed with confetti, hitting the ceiling.


My high school friends were screaming in excitement, some of them glancing in secret at the handsome, young boys.

Two gloomy years passed by. I don't remember how?
All I remember is a frozen, snowy day. Everywhere was covered in white when
I held my child in my arms for the first time.

The new born was welcomed by whole family with gold, jewellery and sweets.
Nobody could guess that I was wandering in my land of mist, dreaming of a Dream.

My mother-in-law put a date in my mouth and said, 'Eat more dates. May the next one be a boy.'

Many sleepless nights followed that day. Days became years. My child was five. My dream was to cross over the forbidden border and to confront the frightful traditions.
It was on a dusk of a winter day I said to myself 'I have done my sentence and paid my dues'. I decided to break the cage that held my soul, so I took my child and walked away- leaving all behind. She was clinging to me. She was quiet, calm and heavy. Her eyes like two black pearls penetrated my heart.

I sought the path of the shadowy wood, guided by the Queen of the Dark Moon.

It took me years to find some peace, but I don't remember how I got the strength to stand up and fight for my integrity.

Today as I reflect, I have no regrets.
I feel an overwhelming gratitude towards my past.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

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1. sherbet is an Iranian juice made of rose water, sugar and lemon
2. LiLiLi is a happy sound instead of hooray by Iranian women in a happy events, special in a wedding

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 8, 2012


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