The Taste of Eid: Poem by Bina Shah

The Taste of Eid: Poem by Bina Shah

The taste of this Eid was bittersweet
On the one hand, the cloying sugar-burst of prepared dishes
jelabies and dudh siwayas and sheer khurma
hitting the back of the throat with the
ferocity of rain after a month of drought
the heavy satisfaction of being able to eat
all the greasy food in the world
without a thought
to doctor’s orders, diets, and calories.

And on the other hand,
the sight of thin children walking hand in hand to the mosque
in patched clothes, carefully preserved shoes
handed down through six older brothers
small girls in lipstick and party dresses
with pyjamas on underneath and veils on their heads
to preserve their modesty.

The sight of the maimed and limbless begging for a handout
from those who were dressed to perfection in their
luxury cars, going from one party to the next
The sounds of the azaan, coming joyously from the masjid
when next door, Muslims are running scared
to borders that provide no hope of shelter.
The world is telling us we are damned
at the same time that we seek God’s blessings for our good deeds.

The taste of this Eid was
bittersweet
and it made no difference that we had all tried to be
so good.

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