‘Spring’ by Samar Shahdad

Today’s blog has been written by Samar Shahdad, an exiled Iranian poet and a researcher whose work explores the themes associated with exile such as language, identity, and belonging. Samar holds an MA in Middle East Politics and Security Studies, and her literary research explores Portuguese and Spanish literature.  

Samar is currently volunteering with Bradford Museums and Galleries on “Our Street Gallery” project, and this blog is an attribute to those who departed in the winter of the pandemic, and to those who are left behind to remember them in Spring, and with Spring. 

Everyone at Bradford Museums and Galleries loves keeping in touch with our volunteers and hearing how they use their skills during lockdown. We hope you enjoy reading Samar’s blog.

From the chirping of birds sitting on the naked branch of the tree outside my window, I hear her light footsteps.  I see her dressing up in the green sprouts, the colour that suits her most.  I am conscious of days lasting longer, preparing the  mother-sun  to shine upon her forehead when she arrives. I know she is coming – my heart has promised me that – although she never left. I can feel her close to my face, although winter has pushed her away, and facemasks walled up between our faces.

I  have tried all the past eleven months,  to remember her face and the fragrance of her breath. I glanced at every flower I encountered in my wanderings, to not let her memory slip my mind, and this is what I could afford to face the world taken over by cough,  and fever…. and cold.

I have greeted her 36 times,  in two countries and in two continents, but there is only one place that she left a mark – or I’d better say she left light – on my heart and that place is Lister Park. In Lister Park, where the sky and the lake meet, the mirror is big enough to see the details of her beauty.  She never poses for any camera, confident she is in her appearance. But all eyes beg for her smile when she grows tall in flowers in Lister Park, when she climbs the trees in Lister Park, when she spreads her arms on the wings of birds that fly over your head.

Lockdown means locked, and down ….. and in lockdown, I long for freedom, and for flight and it is only when she arrives in Lister Park I know that the winter is over, and the icy feeling of being alone is melting away.

They call her “Spring,” but I know she is “our Spring,” the world’s Spring ….. my very own Spring.




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