Ramadan: In Memory and Imagination | Two poems by Julie Clark

Image by Ibrahim.ID, CC BY-SA 3.0 [edited].

Ramadan: In Memory and Imagination, by Julie Clark 

 

 

In Memory

I call a few friends

Who used to live in China

To ask about Ramadan

What foods they shared

For Iftar

And what it meant

It was nutritious and delicious

Huge meals of soup,

rich and meaty main dishes and

Fresh and dried fruits and nuts

It meant

Love and connection

Solidarity

With family, friends and neighbors

I find it painful to ask

And painful for them to remember

Since they have left their homeland

Since the lockdown

Since the genocide of their people

They haven’t heard news

Of their families

For too long

They have not heard

Their voices or their laughter

Or words of hope

That this will end

And life could be normal

And they could celebrate

Ramadan again

With love and connection

Solidarity

With family, friends and neighbors

In Imagination

(When I lived in a city called Gulja, I remember hearing mothers calling their children to come home. They would sing their names out the doorways or open windows. The children would start making their way home when they heard their names.)

If only I could hear her voice again. She called me from the window, singing my name down the street. The sun had set. I knew it was time to come home and eat the delicious meal she prepared every night for us. I would skip home throwing open the door to find her in her apron serving the food to my father and brother.  She would nudge me to the sink to wash my hands. My father would tussle my hair, my brother would give me a playful punch. We would eat our meal together, savoring the flavors and the love we had for each other.

In my dreams I hear her calling, singing my name down the street.  I can never find my way home. There is always an ocean to cross or a gate I can’t get through or soldiers blocking my way.

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