Poems on Politics

In the Schoolyard

I keep all the pencils
I find in the schoolyard.

My mother taught me
Never step on bread.
Bread, a crumb, a morsel.

I keep a pencil for Ashraf who can’t write.
Her palms are bloody and swollen.

I keep a pencil for Behrouz whose fingernails
Were ripped out. He can’t write.

I keep a pencil for Farrokhi-ye Yazdi
Who’d never read
His poems
His mouth
Was sewn shut.

I never step on bread
I lift the bread and kiss it
Then I place it in a safe corner
Away from trampling feet.

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