Allahu Akbar…(sort of)

As Jepara’s citizens are reminded
at ear-splitting volume
from the mosque’s rooftops and minaret
that it’s time to pray and “God is great”

Allahu akbar!

a young boy shuffles by
on his way home from school,
feet scuffing against paving stones
around an ancient banyan tree.

I’m sitting in the shade
as the waves of chanting
crest and fade, but must
look over to investigate
the more insistent, scraping sound.

Is he handicapped, I wonder?
then see feet much too big
for his broken down shoes,
the only way to move forward
is to keep them on the ground.

Allahu akbar!

Would this boy ever wonder
why a great God
can’t give him


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