I hadn’t asked her much,

just how she felt,

and she told me all about her day,

and how she’d washed the sheets,

and how she could not understand

why the towel got so heavy

when it was wet.

She’d also sunned the mattresses,

such tired bones and so much to do,

and my eyes filled with tears

when I thought of how I was simply

going to say “Salaam” (peace) and walk away

and so many words would have been

trapped inside her.

I would have passed by as if

what lay between those bedclothes

was just old life

and not really my grandmother.

–by Sameeneh Shirazie

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