Poem: From an Iranian Mother to an American Mother

“I am the one, whom they will kill in the end,
because he himself has never killed.” Miklos Radnoti

If as a tourist
your son comes to my country
my son will be kind with him
simply because in our religion
a guest is a gift of God
even if he is our long-standing enemy.
We will share our bread with him
and we’ll offer him
the green shadows of trees
so that your son feels at home
and walking in the streets with your son,
shoulder to shoulder,
like a kind sister
my daughter will dedicate to him
poem by poem
the spirit of her mother land
like Marina Tsvetaeva
who dedicated Moscow to Mandelstam
church by church
and the small pigeons also that rise over them

If as a soldier
your son comes to my country
my son will be a defender
while your beloved son has no choice
but to be a killer
and if he, God forbid, my only son, dies
my sigh will kill your son everyday.
His tongue will shrivel to dust
because it didn’t say no to the dictator
his eyes will fall out of their sockets
because they didn’t see the human rights
and lastly
his heart will be the portion of hungry dogs
simply because an aggressor doesn’t deserve a heart.
Surely because an aggressor doesn’t deserve a heart.

And who more than you as a mother believes
in the power of my sigh as a mother?
a burning sigh which turns into an invisible fire
stronger than nuclear bombs.
Much stronger than nuclear bombs.

Then, in the absence of our beloved sons,
you and I will have no one but God
The same God who makes flow the milk
in mother’s breast.

Foreign Policy In Focus contributor Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafavi is an Iranian poet, translator, and freelance journalist.