Here is a poem from my book Broadway Poems: Pandemic, Personal, Political (2023)
entitled "On Beauty"
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ON BEAUTY (Poem 8)
“Seventeen is a girl’s beauty year,”
My Persian/Iranian friend said to me.
“Seventeen is when she is both fresh and mature,
Beautiful and hopeful, full of energy and life.”
At twelve my friend could barely wait;
At fourteen, the excitement intensified.
At sixteen, the world seemed to be coming unglued.
Then, at seventeen, it finally happened!
The Iranian Revolution happened, that is.
My beautiful friend was born in 1961
And the revolution came in 1978,
Drowning out all the cries from the beautiful girls.
She was seventeen, but no one looked.
Everyone’s eyes were downcast.
Everyone’s brows were creased.
No one stopped to look at her in her beauty year.
More than forty years have passed,
And my friend still grieves the loss of her beauty year.
Americans blithely say, “You are beautiful any year.”
We Americans can sometimes be so naive. . .