Family of Things


After Mary Oliver


Was it a wild call, a smile that gave promises like the sun,

a promised sun, the bluest sky, mere fun, or perhaps none,

that sent us on a pilgrimage to Weston Park?

But no matter how hard I tried to worship pigeons and trees,

to be mindful of flowers and trivial things,

I can’t remember a single thing about them,


eyes have pilgrimage of their own,

I remember bodies translated themselves

into grass, that dark fluid language

of which we know nothing, under such sky,

wildness, shadow-size, shadow-shape,

 swooped to the pond interrupting the fish


that pretended to be dead or numb,

a wild call is harsh, it needs intoxication,

I remember the muscles of my eyes struggled

to reassemble themselves behind sunglasses,

I remember the pain to announce my place,


you told me, ‘wild geese are hungry to identify home’,

I told you it was the story I travelled to hear,

and I thought although you follow deep trees

and don’t walk on your knees, andtell your despair

to rivers, whoever you are, your sunny smile

is my home in this family of things.


Shirin Teifouri