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  Updated: January 22, 2009

Imam Zainul Abideen (as)

By: Sister Fiddha

An old, withered man you walked around the Kaaba
Its covering begging to enfold you, to comfort your
Twenty year old wound.
The eyes you saw through, bloodshot through grief
Tell me how did you bury Ali Asghar's headless body_
Your baby brother?
The smile on your face, an adornment to a heart that
Stopped beating in Kerbala
A heart that died by the side of its father,
His last breath
Your eulogy.
What pain you kept hidden
Ocassionally the cover slipped
Shocking witnesses
Until you recollected yourself
Your left lung silently weeping
For the abscence of its friend.
Your white beard, spotless clean
Bore no witness to the blood that
Flowed on it
In the depths of the night
While you secretly mourned
For your familys slaughter.
The people around you
Collectively stained with your
Father's bloodshed
Ashamed and at a loss to know
What to say ?
What words of condolence to utter?
Their silence, a tribute more eloquent
Than speech
As it spoke of dumbness not understimation or insincerity.
So while you humbly walked
Your withered shawl
Kissing your skin
And the unseen angels
Doing tawaaf of you
The quiet onlooker
Sat amazed and penned a poem
For the old man
Whose back had been broken
Yet walked upright and with dignity.
His blatant adoration
Lost to you
As you saw kebala
In your mind
Like the ending of a horror movie
Which becomes entrenched in your mind
Its sharpened talons
Refusing to allow you to escape
From its memory.
Did you ever hallucinate?
See Ali Akbar walking besides you ?
Or see a man who looked like him
And for a split second think he was alive?
Did your father's laughter ever echo in your mind
His whispered words of encouragement
Replayed whenever you did something
Which he taught you to.
And what did you feel when you saw your own
Four year old daughter
And your mind superimposed her face
With Sakina's lying in a prison in Shaam.
Tell me Abid,
The poet admiring you also wants to know,
Was there ever any rest
In between the thousand rakaats of night prayer
The incessant demands of your followers
And the memory of Kerbala and Shaam
Or was the day you were buried besides your uncle
Your moment of peace
An everlasting sleep. 


 
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