Michal  (Mitak) Mahgerefteh

                                                                                                              Poetry and Art 



The emptiness without mother flourished

father’s suppressed disappointments; he wanted

to be a published author, member of the soprano

fan club, biblical and historical story teller. . .


“You understand, but are not around to comfort,”

so says he who always argues with himself and speaks

to voices below his hearing. I don’t want to judge your

thoughts, a tiny vial of happiness could stimulate joy.


Wiping my eyes with the back of my hands, a flame

burns through me, make me want to punch a wall
while embracing mother’s photo in my arms.

by Michal Mahgerefteh




This dining room was the busiest area in my parents’ home,

fresh food prepared daily in case visitors stop by after work;

“The hungry and curious taking advantage of her weakness,”

father complained about mother who needed the company

especially after intense chemo and radiation treatments.


I sneak a look at father, solid like iron, I avert my eyes

to the entry door; ceramic garlic and metal horseshoe charms

fixed around the frame, “Close to thirty-years keeping Jinn

spirits from our bodies,” he said. They didn’t help her. . .
cultural superstition bullshit…I expect more from you, father.


The pain of knowing how unnoticed he was as a caregiver 

drew him to the unseen God, dominating his thoughts, not

people; complaining about the dirty condition of his house,

personal hygiene, eating habits. “I don’t open the door…”

by Michal Mahgerefteh




Today the horizon glows like a kaleidoscope,

sound of thunder cooling the air. I’m hungry…

“You want to eat…make it yourself.” Such a pain.


I pace between rooms, searching for vegetables

kept in wire baskets, or maybe in a burlap bag

hanging on the clothing lines, Where are they?


Watching me like I was a thief about to steal

precious gems, My allowance pays your bills,

do I need to remind you… by the window ripped


tomatoes on wilted stem, “Give them life. . . ”

he urges, Mint and cilantro plants also dried
and the green and red jalapenos are dying…

father doesn’t know the meaning of nourish—

a string of hours together is more than I hoped

without flawless logic, he tilted his head in a slight


bow, pained, “You are my favorite Lilith,

not easily dominated by family and culture.”

by Michal Mahgerefteh