Not one, not two... they were five

Not one, not two... they were five and yet I don't know why
In my mind, they were more like fifty.
And, how is it possible that gallows [on which they were hanged]
Were, someday, trees that did not surrender to axes?

Tell me how to write about the treehood days of the gallows:
Standing firm for freedom, they dug their heels in the meadow.
When the breeze found them in the orchard and wrapped itself around their branches
Their message reached everyone in soft playful dances.

Now, heads have grown on them, heads hanging from broken necks,
Heads of full-bodied figures, perhaps champions in their own way.
Left waiting, feet-dangling-in-the-air, utterly robbed of their words,
These heads whose stories could have filled many books!
Only clouds could now rain tears on their broken bodies,
For mothers were not united with them even after their death.

Don't waste a complaint on the faithless judge, who
Was the enemy, not of darkness and tyranny, but of the Giver of life.

 


By Simin Behbahani
Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz