Soraya Shalforoosh

Playing Cards Found on St. Patrick’s Day

Today he found the moon card from the tarot deck

Then later in the day an ace of spades

I know his unconscious is working over drive

I wish I could make my love write a poem

But we are the poem


Somehow we ended up here 

In the same space

The spirits are surrounding us

My mom, my dad call up from the dead 

But I hear my son and husband laughing, at vintage Tom and Jerry in French “Bonjour Pussycat


Today is also St Patrick’s Day, and though not even an ounce of Irish, he wears the souvenir shirt my dad bought him.  Dad’s final trip before he died was to the emerald isle 


Just like today every day my ancestors are everywhere

Talking to me through clothes, 

Through food, through eyes and even . . . dirt.


A fallen card on the ground, magic


U2 Haiku Sequence



Truth, I slept with him

Because Edge is his cousin

I was 23




Bono was my lust

Until Dave, Edge’s cousin

Backing vocals, Scream


Song of My Experience


One happy hour, boy

Laughs Edge was not his cousin

Twenty years later.


Soccermomming with a muslim name

The suburbs were stinging imitation grass

Clinking ice in acrylic pitchers

The Lily Pulitzer brigade tipped over lawn chairs

To welcome the darker variety and with ethnic names

Macramé heels and impossibly thin, how did they lose their hips post childbirth?

O suburbia I have tried

This weekend the soccer dad after discovering my Iranian American heritage “you’re Jewish”

“No” I reply

The silence echoing in his eyes widening, the smirk his wife makes , he stutters the word mu mu muslim

And the awkwardness we both share and why does he need to know

So, I just smile and watch the game

I haven’t settled on an answer to give him

But our sons are both fantastic players, strikers, without fear they persistently run and pass the defenders, to attempt a goal.


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Author Bio

Soraya Shalforoosh’s first collection of poetry,This Version of Earth was published by Barrow Street in November 2014.  Ms. Shalforoosh has been a guest poet at William Paterson University in New Jersey, Berkeley College in New York, San Jose State University and guest speaker at the American Embassy in Algeria. Soraya was a poetry fellow at the Frost Place in July, 2017.