Startled in the Shatter
Rabia of Basra grew up in ancient Mesopotamia. She is credited for being a major influence on the poet Rumi. Rabia, a woman of remarkable beauty, wrote many poignant poems about God.
She is also quoted as writing, "Show me where it hurts, God said, and every cell in my body burst into tears before His tender eyes."
Rabia had a hard life, after all. She somehow became separated from her parents at a very young age, was sold into slavery, and was used in a brothel until she was about 50 years old. Some say that her freedom was bought by a wealthy patron.
When did Rabia find God, and how? I tried to imagine the disturbing answers to these questions, in...
You came to me in marbled echo
of their footsteps, smoothed leather
sandals removed and placed at arched
doors. I felt your presence in ruby
silk they expected me to wear,
by hands that searched
for eternity in my breasts,
jasmine sweat, skin like
Sometimes when in haste,
they lowered themselves
too hard, too fast,
Your voice startled in the small
shatter of a glass bangle
that fell from my wrist
with a 'clink, clink, clink,'
taking with it the tiniest offering
Glass Bangles photo, by L.L. Barkat.
HighCallingBlogs' Glass Bangles, Silver Arms: Poetry on the Ancients