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Waiting for My Turn

By Majid Naficy

Poem Submitted by Naomi Shihab Nye


After two weeks of staying at home

I go at dawn to the street again 

For stair-climbing.


The stairway has been boarded up.

There is no one on the street

And only the wind talks with leaves.


I remember that year when in Tehran

My comrades were shot one by one

And buried without any gravestones

In the Cemetery of the Infidels.


First was Sadeq,

Who had a charming smile.

I visited his grave with Ezzat.

Second was Ezzat,

Who had passionate eyes.

I visited her grave with Hossein.

Third was Hossein,

Who had strong hands.


I visited no other graves,

Escaped from one house to another

And finally crossed the border.


But now where can I escape

From this world-wide pandemic?

This time I must stay home

And wait for my turn.


March 29, 2020    



در انتظار نوبت خود

مجید نفیسی

پس از دو هفته خانه‌نشینی

سپیده‌دم دوباره به خیابان می‌روم

برای پله‌نوردی.

پلکان را تخته کرده‌اند

هیچ کس در خیابان نیست

و تنها باد با برگها حرف میزند.

آن سال را بیاد می‌آورم که در تهران

رفقایم یک‌به‌یک به خاک افتادند

و بی‌هیچ سنگ‌گوری خاک شدند

در گورستان کافران.

یکم صادق بود

که لبخندی دلنشین داشت.

با عزت سر خاکش رفتم.

دوم عزت بود

که چشمهایی پرشور داشت.

با حسین سر خاکش رفتم.

سوم حسین بود

که دستهایی توانا داشت.

دیگر سر هیچ خاکی نرفتم

از خانه‌ای به خانه‌ی دیگر گریختم

و سرانجام از مرز گذشتم.

اما اینک ازین ویروس جهانگیر

به کجا می‌توانم گریخت؟

این بار باید در خانه بمانم

و نوبت خود را انتظار بکشم.

بیست‌و‌نهم مارس دوهزار‌و‌بیست 


Majid Naficy fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat, in Tehran. Since 1984, Naficy has been living in West Los Angeles. He has published two collections of poetry in English, Muddy Shoes (Beyond Baroque, Books, 1999) and Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003), as well as his doctoral dissertation, Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature: A Return to Nature in the Poetry of Nima Yushij (University Press of America, 1997), at the University of California, Los Angeles. Naficy has also published more than 20 books of poetry and essays in Persian.