Black Cow


At our night of dhikr last night our
shaykh asked us what Ramadan is to each

one of us personally and
insisted that we not answer with

fancy platitudes embroidering
this and that but go deep and

come up with a true response

And I suddenly remembered one very dark
night nearly fifty years ago walking with a

friend on a pitch-black road back from a
village in Mexico to where we were

staying in Ajijic

No moon not a star in the sky
and we knew the

road well so we were walking along at a
brisk pace when suddenly

WHAM! I hit something
flat in my chest that

stopped me cold as if I’d walked into a
solid wall

Black cow invisible in the night crossing the
road right in front of me

that I could barely make out even after
squinting my eyes

until I reached out and
felt its passing hairy bulk

The fast of Ramadan
puts us up against it

Against our mortality our daily
existence on earth our nafs

No more fancy talk

only Allah

8/5/2011  5 Ramadan (from Ramadan is Burnished Sunlight)

Categories: Poems, Ramadan / 'Eid, Fasting