Mother Of Believers

Waving a black flag of Jihad, despite Islam’s

prohibition against harming others or oneself,

the thin veneer of civilization cracks and splinters.

In an ill-defined penumbra, an Amir, in passionate rage

commands Samira to recruit young burka-clad women

seeking martyrdom. Under a darkening purple sky,

desert winds blow leaves off tamarisks and wild pear trees.

Globe thistle seeds of the Mesopotamian marshes

and plumes of terebinth trees fly towards the horizon

in the luminescence of a fiery sun. With the satanic

cunning of a serpent, shame is induced after a rape

organized with the help of police.

Stunned women who face being stoned to death

are then persuaded to redeem themselves.

With all that can be seen are fierce eyes burning

traumatized victims don the martyr’s headband,

a gift from God, shahids trained for predatory

suicide like Kamikaze pilots.

They wrap explosive bags and bomb-belts around

their budding chests under robes check-point security

cannot find.

Five times a day fathers and brothers heed the muezzin’s

wailing call to prayers under minarets that reach up

to a soiled sky. In unfaltering wrongness, nubile bodies,

mere nymphettes, explode. The earth shudders, rocking

on its axis, scattering a mosaic of mangled body parts

amidst the stink of camel dung and rancid tamarind.

Charred fig leaves swirl in a whirlpool of billowing

black smoke.

May Allah forgive this Muslim mother, Jihadi by day,

rape coordinator by night, relishing the salt taste of blood

on her tongue, blood of the infidels.

Milton P. Ehrlich