Mujib Mehrdad, Translated from the Persian by Sholeh Wolpé
Who would like to plant
mines in the fatherland?
I know how to plant a potato
in the soft earth,
something our fathers learned
from their fathers.Who would like to howl
like a wolf under a star-studded sky?
There’s no one who doesn’t know how
to murmur the local songs.I want to lie on a rooftop at night
and stare at the cosmos,
but I’m afraid scorching small stars
might rain down on my face.These days we carry coffins every day,
burdening and bending our sons’ backs.We are a hungry nation.
We shoot at each other
from behind fruit trees.
We are a hungry nation.
We plant mines in fertile fields.