Baby on the Nile
There is something about a child, you know,
Something that makes all other pain seem less;
To hear the constant utterance of No
And find amorphous order in a mess.
I was a child once, more I set my thought
To drain the worlds of wisdom for a clue
To help me solve this mystery of what
Compels a child to do what children do.
And then I hear these words so sweet and sage:
Of how a mother nursed her infant, then
Set him afloat to cool a river’s rage;
I see my quest is drowned in error, when
Indeed somewhere between a kiss and shove
Lay hidden treasures of parental love.
This sonnet was inspired by an exegesis of the opening verses of Surah Al-Qasas (The Story). Shaykh Amin describes the inspiration sent to the pious mother of Musa (AS) as a profound allegory for parenting.
The agents of the Pharaoh would
Be on her son in time,
What of this urge to nurse him good
With death upon the line?
She nursed him still, then heeded well
Another thought bizarre
To wrap the handsome, happy babe
And set him float afar.
Upon her peace, upon him too,
A prince who fled in fear
Into the wild, but only to
Return with word sincere
And lead his people out from where
A tyrant wrought his worst.
All from a mother’s act in faith
Upon a baby, nursed.