Crossing the Street in Tehran – Janice Price

In Janice's Writings by Nancy Sliwa

The spoken word is a sing-song

Poem.  The newspapers hold

Flocks of birds on the wing. Graceful,

Unreadable, uninterpretible,

Farsi.

I am a westerner newly arrived

In the Islamic Republic of Iran

My heart flutters like the long,

chadors of the anonymous women

Crossing the street from the corner

On which I stand. Crossing,

Crossing while I stand

Motionless, terrified

Unable to gather sufficient

Nerve to stare down

The heated mob of lawless

Traffic to get to the other

Side. Finally the kindness of

Experienced strangers parted the

Sea of crazed cars, allowing

Safe passage, before closing behind

Us in a tsunami of noise

And fumes.

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