I am also free
in this little room;
the sun moves across
a window in the ceiling
before it sets;
rays of light,
sparingly enter;
on the path they make,
I walk home;
my father, even now,
from the city,
brings along for me,
a shawl, a comb, bangles and kohl,
and so much more;
both my brothers,
study in the mosque,
as they did;
God's edicts
they read, memorise;
my sister puts away in a basket,
my share of bread;
feeds it to the sparrows
at dawn;
my mother is kind of crazy,
gathering stones
or talking to sparrows
as they pick the grain;
she says:
when the sparrows will fathom the truth,
in their beaks and claws
they would clutch the stones;
then would rage a storm
to ravage law-givers,
tear down the pulpits;
justice He would deliver Himself,
the Supreme Lord,
the same for one and all,
the revered, the exalted.

How should I tell my mother,
am I the Kaaba,
the House of the Lord?

Translated by Yasmin Hameed

by Zehra Nigah

Comments (3)

for we who've fought for it, life has a meaning, the protected never know.
Exquisite, deeply profound and very human.
love the music through my clay bit. lovely.