The Bloody Epitaph

By: Partaw Naderi
Translated by: Sarah Maguire & Yama Yari

This palm tree has no hope of spring

This palm tree blossoms

with a hundred wounds

— the daily wounds of a thousand tragedies

— the nightly wounds of a thousand calamities

This palm tree is a bloody epitaph

at the crossroads of the century

*

Here, by the river,

a river of blood and tears —

the roots of this palm tree

are congealed with disaster

are knotted with the blind roots of time

*

Here, the sky

unwinds its bloody cloth

from barren red clouds

to shroud the shattered lid of a coffin

a broken mirror of rain

This palm tree has no hope of spring

*

This palm tree has no hope of spring

This palm tree is starred

with a hundred bruises

from the whip of the north wind

My palm!

My only tree!

My spring!

Many years have passed

since the bird of blossoms

flew away from your desiccated branches

Butterflies abandon you
My heart is broken

Kabul
November, 1989

Partaw Naderi About the author
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