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© Phil Koch A Road to Nowhere in Particular – Horizons by Phil Koch. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
This is a poem I wrote a few years ago in my car as I was driving home from work.
It was the final day of fasting after six days of Shawwal, following directly after the Eid of Ramadan, and it was just before Mahgrib as I was heading out. The sky had rosy thin lines of clouds, reaching like fingers out over the green fields of South Carolina farmlands. The idea for this poem came to me, so I started scribbling lines on a junk mail envelope as I drove, knowing I would be very late if I didn’t hurry. But I was so hungry that I prayed in the parking lot of a Hardees, then on second thought, ran through the drivethru while I was there. I reached into the bag as I set off on the road again, and in the almost-Isha darkness, I didn’t know what I had put in my mouth.
The incredibly delicious earthy flavor of the super fresh, perfectly fried french fry potato flooded my senses with exquisite pleasure and gratitude for Allah… oh, it tasted so good, it’s really difficult to describe! It was the perfect intersection of hunger and satisfaction, patience and fullfilment, praying and receiving, fasting and iftar. I couldn’t see the envelope as I struggled and scrawled to complete the transfer of dream to poem, food to face, and thanks to Allah. Alhamdulillah the cell phone didn’t ring!
Breaking Fast After 6 days of Shawwal
The rosy fingers of Mahgrib
Are offering us morsels of love
As a husband feeding his bride
The first morning of their marriage
How long she was waiting
To taste his fingers on her lips!
And now that the waiting is over,
Tell me what tastes better –
The fingers or the food?