There is a sword in this house
Which Father says is a souvenir
From the time of his service.
I saw it at the sanctuary of the ablution pool
And thought that it was a harmless emblem
On the mosaic tiles of the wall.
One evening when breaking the fast
We went downstairs to the ablution pool.
It was a holy Night of Power .
The little fountain was whispering to itself.
Father washed himself at the pool
stood toward the House of God
And pressed his forehead to the prayer seal.
I knelt before the boiling samovar
And the dining cloth which displayed
The plate of fried walnuts and dates,
And the dish of basil and mint with bread.
A godly vapor arose
From the cup of hot sugar water
Ready to pass through his parched lips.
A hymn of brotherhood murmured
Through the verses of his prayer book
As he chanted in ecstasy.
His eyes were shining from abstention
And everything he looked at
He would mesmerize.
I surrendered myself to all this beauty.
If my prayers were heard that night
What more could I have desired
Than this open cloth of happiness?
Then, against my will
I laid my head on his lap
And went to sleep with a heavenly dream.
Suddenly, the naked sword came to life
A holy warrior fast and clever
Whirled it around
In an unending dance
And from the edge of his long robe
An army of the faithful rose up.
The soothing murmur of the samovar
Turned into fearful cries of holy raids;
The rich colored tea, to blood;
And the lustful pieces of date,
To the people's living hearts.
In this great clamor
I recognized Father's voice
Shouting at this time:
“Fight in the name of Allah!
Fight in the name of Allah!”
And my dream was over.
Leaning against the velvet cushion
Father seemed to be asleep.
I took a date and left him alone
In his nightmare.
At this ablution pool
There hangs a sword.
Father says that it is a souvenir
From the time of his service.
January 4, 1987
 A night or nights in the holy month of Ramadhan in which prayers are heard.
Majid Naficy is the co-editor of the literary journal of Iranian Writers' Association in Exile and the author of more than 20 books in Persian. He fled Iran in 1983 one and a half years after the execution of his wife, Ezzat. he has published two collections of poems, "Muddy Shoes" (Beyond Baroque Books) and "Father and Son" (Red Hen Press) as well as his doctoral dissertation, "Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature" (University Press of America) in English.
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