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In A Persian Garden

By John I. Blair

Heís almost prettier than she,
Dressed in an embroidered silken gown,
His turban topped with a peacock plume.

Their gold and jewels are beyond price;
A look of supreme self-confidence
Smoothes their privileged countenances.

Each focused on the otherís pleasure,
They trade bold glances
As they pause from smoking a pair of hookahs.

Smiling servants bear sword, fan, food, drink;
Treasures grace the marble palace wall
That supports their scarlet awning.

At a fair pavilion, framed by flowers
And splashing fountains, more servants
Rush to spread a couch behind reed screens.

I donít know their names,
Can only guess they spoke Farsi or Pashtun,
Softly whispering, face to face.

Was Shiraz, Herat, or Isfahan their home?
Where was the garden they enjoyed?
What difference does it make?

The picture, painted centuries ago,
Is not about flowers, jewels, marbles, silks;
Itís not about Persia.

©2004 John I. Blair


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