Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 1



Golden Shiraz

Amy N. Pugsley


Everyone here lives in the past
In a golden age of bliss
Living in our own versions of the past
Living in a version of what it all meant
Ghosts of what once was
Before the revolution
Before the loss
Before we packed our bags and left
Before, before, before
When we were all made of gold….

A generation of people
The people of once, the people of then, the people of before
Gripping to a life they, we, I, us, once had
Remembering the life of their fathers
Obsessing over the days of their grandfathers
How did we get stuck in a reverie?
Stuck in a slow dance
Taking a forever sip of tea from the samovar
Waiting for something to resonate
Waiting to say, this is from home
Waiting to show how once, just once, we were all made of gold…

The past is where the air was magic
The past is where we were free
Before the divide
Before the tyranny
Where the gold and the miniskirts were normal and so were we
When we didn’t have to say we were Christians, Muslims, and Jews
When we didn’t have to explain that we were Assyrians, or Persians, or Iranians
Before we had to move around the world and make new homes with rugs on the wall
Rice cooking slowly in the kitchen
Incense burning
Cups of Shiraz overflowing in Shiraz
Ladies dancing in the streets
Before we had to explain what we were and why we came
When we were all made of gold….

We left wearing all of our family’s gold
We went to the far corners of the world to start new
We pretended the palms of California were the palms of Shiraz
We pretended the snow of Toronto was the snow of Tabriz
We live in the past
When we were free
Before, before, before
When we were golden…


Amy N. Pugsley: "I am a Persian-Canadian educator and writer currently living and working in Cairo, Egypt."




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