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