When Harry Left the Trees

Harry’s wife stopped me and started to
say things, so I listened.
“You know Harry never had it easy,
especially in 1964.
He didn’t want to fight,
or kill anyone for that matter.
I married him without a ring and a wedding dress.
All he did at our wedding night
was to stare at his own face in the mirror.
Harry told me that after the war
he still continued to hide out
and called it force of habit.
He used to sleep under the bridges,
in farms, and stole chickens and corn.
Sometimes on hot nights he played dead
and slept in morgues to keep cool.
He said one time he even refused the open
legs of a prostitute cause he had forgotten
how to make love. He said he made paper birds
and whistled their tunes to blow his fears away.
He had many interrupted sleeps, hearing death
screaming into his ears.”


Fereshteh Sholevar was born in Tehran where she studied literature and foreign languages. She received her Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Fereshteh has published six books of poetry, two of which are bilingual: And the Blue Continues in English and Spanish, and Walking with the Moon in English and German. Her Name Was Samira, a novel, was published by Infinity Publishing in 2012.  She won the Editor’s Choice award  from Philadelphia Poets in 2011.