In Tehran Sara Dehpour became a dependent living on charity.

Her niece, Esther in New York sent her money and

she lived among the elderly, in a dark hole, a

single room in a seedy building.  There was an ancient

dresser-top refrigerator and a one-burner stove.  Over in a corner

a round oak table brooded on its heavy pedestal, but

it was only for drinking tea.  Her meals she had

elsewhere, in bed or standing at the sink — sometimes toast

with a bit of sour cream and half a sardine,

or a small can of peas heated in a mug.


Paraphrases from the novella Rosa by Cynthia Ozick.