Wednesday, 31 October 2012

At the Gates

She is a traveler, backpack and all she
Needs is a window seat
Train riding smoothly and a book
Good enough to lose herself in

The same scene repeats every morning
She has money to spend and time to waste
She is the matron of the trees watching  them
Gracefully disrobe every fall with a blur
Of green to orange and eventually brown
Her feet up on the seat opposite
The decaf warms her palms
She shifts till she finds the little
Head shaped indent, her stamp on seat 32A

The cabin is empty save her and the conductor
Regardlessly he calls " Tickets please"
It is so easy ,to slip her hand into her left pocket
To rummage in her oversized abaya and-
He is standing, waiting, smiling as they do.
She has no ticket today.
And suddenly nothing else matters
She looks with the idle eyes of disbelief

I stand at the gates of paradise
I can see nobody but my own whimpering body
The raw nudity , the exposure , the judgment.
It is asked of me so my hand moves steadily
Placed so perfectly in this chest and yet
I never once did check , so sure of my foolish self
So evident that this superficial beating was just that
I stand amazed how could I let it be
That I stand at the gates of heaven
With no heart worthy of entry

The Day when neither wealth nor children shall profit, only he who comes before God with a sound heart
al-Shu'ara' 26: 88-9


  1. I think this is my favorite piece of yours so far. It was such a wake-up call. How effortlessly we live our lives on this earthly plane, thinking little of the consequences of our actions, forgetting about the day when even the most minute thing will be asked about, the moment when we reach the end of the tracks. SubhanAllah...thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    1. I'm so glad that you benefited. I think its also how complacent we become how assured we are that we have the tickets that its in our back pocket and its partly because we've become so comfortable here . We've built our little houses and just assume everything is fine and dandy. And finally how worthless our money and our time on this earth will be if not used properly . She could have sat on that train every day since the day she was born but who cares she doesn't have a ticket today ... Oh dear I am going on a bit your comments always get me started on a train of thoughts ( pun was not intended )