Ramadan corners

Corners folded, curved, stuffed

With minced meat, potatoes, peas

Spices galore

Platters upon platters, overflowed 

To again feed the empty pangs of Ramadan

Another year tendered sustenance,

With memories yet to fill

Each dish embraced as savoury favourites;

Samosas, pakoras, dahi bara,

‘That Libyan soup with yum buttons’…

Engorged grape leaves smothered in olive oil,

With basmati morsels escaping wraps

Such blessings envelope our tastes

Satisfy our sting in appreciation

With memories filled

Another Ramadan, now an echo, my first;

A warm Mediterranean summer night

At a street cafe in Igualada

Underneath a slivered, faint moon

It was a lemon Schweppes, then another, and another

Which quenched my parched thirst 

And gave my throat such an ache

With memories on the horizon

Of corners folded, curved, stuffed

And oh so many more memories yet to serve

From the dusky purple skies of Arizona then

Served from the jumbled, tumbled iftar lines

Semi-botched efforts of organizing

Depleted women with energetic children

Yet still, we ate, we laughed, 

We sighed in that contentment of fill 

From a hot, dry Southern Arizona fast

And we cleaned those dropped rice grains in no time flat, 

Oh my! Did we clean!

How many vacuums did we break?

Then off 

To pray To pray To pray 

Afterwards, the long desert drive home

To stop for more nourishment

Dairy Queen’s Peanut Buster Parfait

Sitting in an extended, brown Chevy van

Across the universe of the Tucson landscape

With the dotted saguaros 

Viewed atop the edge of our world

Bilby Road

When I mused

‘Quiet now… Shush… No radio… No noise

Roll your windows down

Eat your ice cream

Look at the stars

Now, close your eyes

Smell the mesquite, the creosote, the monsoon


An Arizona mother’s version of Taraweeh

For those were memories to serve my children

But wait! 

We must not forget the Muslim watermelon brother

He was like clockwork

Because along with everything else

Ramadan brings clockwork 

To Muslims in need of suhoor 

For the long sizzling day ahead

There he stood

One watermelon on each shoulder

To pay at 3 a.m. 

At the same Alberston’s 

Each night each night each night

While the same cashier was there

Each night each night each night

Finally, questioning our watermelon brother

Why? Every night? At the same time?

Who would of thought a watermelon

Which extinguished our thirsty mouths

Would turn to rinds of dawah

And gave us an abundance of overflowing platters 

With corners, folded, curved,

And stuffed from memories served.