Elegy To Our Mother

On the passing of my dear mother-in-law:
Ayesha Fayroze Zamani Begum
(1948 – 2012)
Allahumma Aghfir lahaa

Ammi, I always wished for you
To be a better mother,
To be my wise protector who
Would one way or another
Make all my troubles go away,
Complete my youth with care,
And sigh away my chatter while
You fixed my tangled hair;
Or flush my spirit with your tales
Of wisdom and delight,
That in my older years would serve
Me as a guiding light.
But you had troubles of your own:
Afflictions of the mind;
My oldest memory of you
A thing to leave behind.
I’ve watched you wander in a daze,
And heard you babble what
The medication and the drugs
Did to your every thought.
And most of all I felt for you
Was born of sympathy,
I’ve wondered what the purpose of
Your pointless life could be.
Now after all these heavy years,
Of sickness, and defeat,
You flood me with your wisdom as
I sit beside your feet;
Resounds in all your muted pain
A lifelong dignity,
And in your blinking eyes is plain
Your shining love for me.
My silent tears drain my breast;
As you exhale your last,
I see your glowing face attest
An unassuming past.
And I may never comprehend
This mercy lofty, high,
For in your soft and graceful end,
You’ve shown me how to die.
In all your towering innocence,
You rest within your grave,
A soul without complaint or grudge,
A pure, submitting slave.
O Allah, to You my mother returns,
Through all of her suffering and pain,
Protect her against the fire that burns
Whatever of sin may remain.

And fill every inch of space in her grave
With light of Your mercy kind,
That she may delight in fragrances that
Bring peace to an innocent mind.

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