Poem: Walk to the mosque, 1969

Sharp, fragile bones under the coarse soft skin
I help him along, this grandfather so thin
Along a narrow, dusty asphalt lane dark houses on both sides
We stop at the place where his heart fully, truly resides.

His steps are slow and shuffling, but never does he falter
Black bruises on his forehead declaring no power his faith will alter
Dressed neat in white, perfume protecting him from the stink of heat and men
“You will meet your friends in heaven, perfect happiness will envelope you then.”

He leaves the lane and into the mosque grounds unaided he walks
To surrender in bliss on cool tiles while sin his soul no longer stalks
Great faith in the right path, he tells me as his prayers fly upward
“No matter: good character, good deeds, tis this does Allah reward.”

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