A Poem Inspired by Eid al Adha

This year, I had the opportunity to witness the Moroccan Eid al Adha rituals in their entirety, including the slaughter and butchering of a sheep. On Friday, my student invited me to his house to celebrate the holiday with his family. The images of that day were to me simply beautiful, and they inspired me to write this poem:

Eid Morning

Quiet streets,
Dawn breaks.
Rubbage rustling,
Soft stirring wind.

Donkey carts still.
Young men waiting,
Waiting
For the call.

White robes shuffle down streets,
Father and sons.
Elder’s hand guides the young,
Fuzzy bronze heads under fezzes.

Warm light shines
Through great grey masses,
Illuminating pink plaster walls.
All hear the call.

Men gather outside:
Neighbors form neat rows,
Kneeling on plastic mats,
Wheelchairs first.

Red fountain,
Pools on dry mud.
Knife cuts,
Giving and taking life.

Here my hands
Hold your innermost possessions.
Meticulous work:
Nothing is wasted.

Eid is the end,
Eid is the beginning.
From dust
to dust.

We say
Thank you.