“La ilaha illa Allah,” (No god but God)
—with a Canadian accent—
as I took my mother in between my arms.
An emotional gap between us—
mothered and motherless—
and a fear of the emerge of another.
…….she’d tell me her mother had never embraced her either.
Since I could remember
until a year ago,
my mother laid a thick blanket
atop of me at dawn.
What’s an embrace but warmth shielding you from a frigid world?
“Mohammed Rasulu Allah,” (Mohammed is the messenger of God)
she enunciated, giggling.
…….she embarked on her trip to the motherland;
…….I lodged in the homeland.
Nofel is an Arabo-Anglophone writer based in Canada. His poetry has appeared in Snapdragon Journal and the Packingtown Review. He is also a regular columnist at Here magazine.