The Rotten Carrot Trilogy – for Fariba

rotten carrot

for her daughter’s fourteenth birthday
she gave a rotten carrot

she gave the meal
offered to her
a treasure amidst
the moldy bread
the unwashed silverware

a hint of young green life
born from the slimy
end of a wilted root
she secretly wrapped
in moist paper

I have no daylight to offer you
she told the sprout
for I haven’t seen it myself
for over a year

I know, said the sprout,
I won’t need it either.

Will you tell my daughter

I will, said the sprout

and the fourteen year old
walks home from prison
her fingers cupped around
the four inch sprout

my mother’s gift

her skin faded to gray
bones and skin
eyes sunken
her voice not her own

looped months
turning my mother
into a vague glimmer
of my memories

but today I remember
today I hold the bush in my palms
her touch
her strength
her warm eyes

and I run
I dig with my fingers
feeling the soil deep in my nails
forcing the scent of raw earth
to fill my haunted nights

I am the bush

I am the bush
the root
the ground
the tears
the dirt
the blood
the sun
the mold
the fire
the soul
the will
the pain
the heart
the hope

  1. April 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for this. I saw the photo of Fariba’s daughter holding this carrot and looking so happy and I cried for her. You have given that moment perfect form.

    • April 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you Rosita for your comment. I too was profoundly moved by that photo..

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