The House Surrender Built

one day we’ll tell her about the way light
through the bedroom window
her cheek

how it looked
a little
like Hope

but first

how the four concrete walls of this house felt like a cell
a place we didn’t want to be
in a country we didn’t want to live

how we unpacked our suitcases
and made room
for an ever-present, never-leaving, uninvited guest
named Waiting

how it was only a house
a place we slept and ate and buried our dreams

how we memorized the creaks in the floors and cracks in the ceilings

how we dug our nails

how we bled
desperately ignoring

and then

we will tell her how we brought fresh life
through the doors of that house
not at all like we imagined

how a baby caused us to relax our grip
and to make room for Hope

caused us to lean forward
with every fiber of our being

caused us to speculate
who she’ll be
where we’ll be
now, a mystery

how we brushed off dormant dreams
and replaced them with flowers
dug deep into the dirt

with picture frames
and books
and tiny toys
all the while still looking ahead

how we stepped over the creaks
as she napped
took notice of the sunrise on one side and the sunset on the other
of the kitchen
and mountains

welcomed it
accepted it

how we saw the speckled light
bouncing off the mirror
creating a rainbow swirling across the cheek
of our chubby

how light caused us to breathe

to Surrender

to make a home here
Hope here
while we

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in this series “280 Words”.

10 thoughts on “The House Surrender Built”

  1. This is so beautiful Sarah. You have talent and we are blessed you share with us. It always leaves me with Hope………..Prayers continue and I continue to HOPE for you. God has a plan……..


  2. Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for writing this beautiful expression of both struggle and joy.

    Kai and I are reading Silas Marner out loud. We recently read a chapter that made me think of you and Afshin both. The correlations are not literal. He is a miser who was hurt by the church in the past. He works hard and hoards gold for the first half of the book. Eppie turns up on his doorstep as a baby and changes his life. I’ve attached a few excerpts.


    From: Sarah Bahiraei Reply-To: Sarah Bahiraei Date: Friday, February 19, 2021 at 4:00 PM To: Chris McQueen Subject: [New post] The House Surrender Built

    Sarah posted: “one day we’ll tell her about the way the lightthrough the bedroom windowdancedacrossher cheek how it lookeda littlelike Hope but first how the four concrete walls of this house felt like a cella place we didn’t want bein a country we didn’t want to live h”


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