I heard the voice of myself
at age 4
I spoke with a Persian inflection
as I said prayers into the microphone
I read from a children’s book
not recognizing myself as I realized
the strength of my southern accent
(South Carolina public schools)
But when I spoke to my parents
I had no accent at all.
“Maman joon, Baba joon, Allah’u’abha.
This is Sholeh, and I am going to say
some prayers for you.”
The messages that we sent my grandparents
17 years ago
brought tears to my eyes,
the slight lisp of my 4 year old sister
as she said her ABCs
and talked about riding the elephant at the circus
and sang prayers and children’s songs.
“Maman joon, Baba joon, can you come visit us?
We will play with you, and we miss you.”
I heard the patient voice of my mother
“Ahfarin, Sholeh joon.” (Good job, Sholeh dear)
As my 3 year old self
pointed out objects: duck! moo! ob!
Why do we forget the things
that should never be left behind?
I cried today…
I wish I could go back sometimes
to that innocent child of my past
to let her know that I love her.