الأضحى (Eid al-Ahda)
Sarah Fathima Mohammed
The gentle blessing floats off our tongues like
shallow breaths, as morning dew from the grass kisses our bare feet.
We gather in unity; we are one on this holy morning.
Umma starts the ترتيل (Tarteel) that materializes into our faith.
We rise together, voices mangled with accents, dressed with youth and age, we combine
into the rich and powerful tajwid of worship.
We are no longer reciting. Our hearts sing with love and devotion
to ourselves, each other and our beliefs, blending
into the burning drop of light rising slowly
above us, streaks of deep color across delicate morning blue.
The prayers end. We nourish ourselves with hand-cooked meals.
We can taste them before bringing the food to our lips.
A leaf rustles. No one dares disturb our sanctuary
blessed by Mother Nature herself on our celebration, our Eid, but we were wrong,
A mob came in our place of worship and
They waved their tattered cardboard signs in our faces
our clasped hands our beating hearts
we looked at other faces they could wreck us
it was our time to be united to be pure and true
we are Americans anyway why should we “leave Americans alone”
we were born in the valleys of this country in the patterns of practice Eid Mubarak
The gentle blessing floats off our tongues like shallow breaths
as we huddle together in tightly packed rows against the sticky linoleum floors of my uncle’s apartment.
Sarah Fathima Mohammed is a freshman at The Harker School, CA. In 2019, she received a silver medal for the NJCL national creative writing contest and a gold medal for national Latin. Her work has been accepted in Stone Soup. She enjoys writing various pieces in literature and Latin; poetry, to her, is a raw form of self-expression that can be conveyed at any depth without the worldly barriers. When she is not writing, she teaches English to disadvantaged students, plays music to raise funds for kids in hospitals, and enjoys archery.