{Taste of Heaven} by Hiba Rasheed

By Hiba Rasheed

She knows…
Three months old
Eyes speak of untold feats
Conceived one month early
Sep 11
My neophyte revolutionary
Her torrential presence rains
On the arid terrains of my soul,
Each drop, a caress
To coax lushness within my life
Found and lost- too many times-
In my carnal shroud and clouds of mundaness

I must have done something good in my life

To have her
In mornings rise
To sunlight dancing on her smile
Her chocolate skin akin
To the magnanimity flourishing
By the banks of the Nile
Her face, a canvas, where her father and I
Drew sketches of genealogy,
Praying our love and faith
Would fill those spaces with vibrant colors,
So she may someday draw her own sketches
And gratefully pray for light in our graves

Beloved child
Whose veins throb with ancestral blood
Which was spilled, moons ago, on Sudan’s streets
Where my parents
Once marched in protest
For justice and peace
Where my aunt(1) laid her life on the line
So women can now speak their minds,
And my uncles(2), now deceased,
Published their share of history, poetry and political critique

We named her 7ala
Which defines all that is sweet and pleasurable,
In defiance of all strife and callousness
Pervading our times
First letter of her name ح
Does not correlate to any foreign syllable,
So she can wear her Arabic language
With pride on her African hair;
Sew Quranic verses in the seams of her heart
Where she can always find
Solace and warmth in Allah’s embrace

She knows
What I am talking about
Six months old now
Eyes still speak of untold feats
Yet to come

May she be a better human, friend, sister, mother, daughter and wife, than I ever was and will be; may she be the redemption I seek in my afterlife

(1) Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatima_Ahmed_Ibrahim)
(2) A- Salah Ahmed Ibrahim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salah_Ahmed_Ibrahim)
B- Murtada Ahmed Ibrahim, former minister during president Nimeri’s rule, published his memoirs as a minister in Arabic entitled The rebellious minister: The memoirs of the engineer, Murtada Ahmad Ibrahim
C- Ismat Hassan Zulfo, former major in the Sudanese military during president Nimeri’s rule, published three books entitled Karari: The Sudanese Account of the Battle of Omdurman (translated to English), Al Khalifa (The Successor) and Shekan