In Memoriam Reyhaneh Jabbari
Letter at night
My kind mother,
the world allowed me to live for 19 years,
to play as a child, to explore as a teen
then, it asked me to hand over my life
to die at the hands of a man,
to give up my body
to be used and dumped
in some filthy corner of the city,
to become just another number,
just another mothers memory
but this I could not allow,
this I could not begin to comprehend
so I chose to live and to take a life
and now I reside amongst the rats
in solitude, waiting on the
calloused hands of death,
and you sweet mother
know better than I that death
is not the end of life.
Mother, my dear mother
I beg you, I lay down
upon the cold floor
begging you to not let my body
rot beneath the darkness of the soil,
do not let my bright eyes and young heart
waste away to dust,
I beg you, as soon as the rope snaps
and my frail neck breaks,
arrange that my heart, eyes, kidneys
liver, skin, bones, any part of this body
that can be transplanted and taken away,
I beg you to give it as a gift to another.
See that my death becomes a gift of life
and mother, my sweet mother,
do not mourn for your child
nor wear black or suffer,
just remember the hand you held
and child that always smiled.
Give me to the wind to take away.
Letter by day
My child, they have taken you away,
I do not understand why or where
but they have taken you
and I do not know what to do.
Last night as I looked at you,
you did not cry nor I at first,
your eyes lay dead upon the table
and you brushed the soft skin of your face
avoiding the hard stare of your mother’s eyes
and then you looked up at me,
the child in your eyes looked up at me
and we both burst into tears.
They made us sign and stamp that paper-
I signed a paper for your death, my child,
and then they took you away,
I do not know where they have taken you.
I do not know who can help us.
My begging falls on deaf ears,
It is better to die than to live these things.
I wish I had died.
Help me understand
why they have taken you, my child.
Stephen Byrne is a chef, poet and editor living in the west of Ireland. He has been published worldwide and in places such as Rats Arse Review, Spontaneity, Warscapes, RædLeafPoetry-India and The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology. His work has also been translated into Russian for the Nasha Gazeta journal and newspaper, Dublin edition. He writes on his site http://therantingbeast.com/