Upon hearing Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani being sentenced to death by stoning
Every day, early in the morning My father, who in his childhood Had memorized all thirty parts of the Koran, Would put the holy book on the reading cradle And recite it with my mother In their bedroom. From the children’s room I would listen to their charming chant And see a lonely prophet Standing at the threshold of Hira cave With a cape over his shoulders. He chanted short Koranic verses All starting with beautiful oaths: By the moon and the sun And the fig and olive trees, By the Book and the Pen And the gasping horses of dawn. And yet I did not know that he, As a law-giver and ruler, would leave the mountain for the city And Mecca for Medina. There, in the tradition of the Old Testament, He stoned the unruly women And hanged the disillusioned youth In the market place. He let the sound of Koranic chant Mingle with the shouts of holy raids And the moans of the tortured. Alas, Father died Without memory, And a hand wrote the date of his death Inside our family Koran.
Copyright 2021 Majid Naficy
Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son published by Red Hen.