Hebrew Home
The Bronx

Mother sobs
in short bursts

I lean over
brush my cheek

against hers
on the pillow

“What’s wrong?”
“Look at Tarek”

she wails
“he’s drowning

For the love of Allah
save my son.

Look, my bayta
he’s whirling”

I’m curious
how she knows

Tarek’s been swept away
by a rip tide

in Goa
The sea yielded

his corpse
a day later

We hid
the news

from Mother
She’d be beyond grief

for Tarek
youngest of six

even if 62
was her baby

I wonder

she’s been hearing
since I was a kid

is this where poetry
comes from?

by Rafiq Kathwari / @brownpundit

NOTE: “bayta” in Urdu means son