The victors write history But the witnesses arrive With their piercing eyes Which have seen everything.
I want to know what happened On January 7, 1982 Half past one in the afternoon In Evin Prison Ward 246 Room #6 When Raheleh, the Islamic guard Paged: “Ezzat Tabaian with all of her belongings! Ezzat Tabaian with all of her belongings!”
Ezzat took her empty bag And stood at the door of the room. She wore the same checkered shirt Which she had at the dawn of September 19, 1981 When she left me alone in bed To go for a meeting And then never returned.
Thirty weeping women circled around her And sang with Parvin: “Tonight I have a passion…” Then Ezzat said: “You sang your song And shed your tears. Could you now for my sake Sing the “Whiz Whiz” Rhyme?”
Tears mingled with smiles. They all clapped And sang the “Bad Kid” Rhyme Which starts with this stanza: “One day I saw a kid And was stunned on the spot. She gulped down a bowl of soup: Gulp, gulp” And ended with this stanza: “One night I woke suddenly I saw a camel but was not scared Yet it rained in my bed: Whiz, whiz.” Then the cellmates walked with the “bad kid” To the door of the ward And she went toward the field of her execution.
At seven o’clock in the evening A barrage of bullets was heard From the hills behind the Prison Like the dropping of a load of iron. Then the cellmates in the emptyness of their room Counted the number of single shots Which exceeded fifty. They sobbed loudly.
My good Ezzat! Get up! Get up! Get up from the Cemetery of the Infidels! A witness has arrived Mitra, the Blue-Eyed, Who carries your last gazes and words, Kisses and steps Like a jug of honey On her shoulder. Get up! Get up! The witnesses write history. The victors, no! The witnesses write history.
Copyright 2022 Majid Naficy.
Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son (Red Hen 2003).