Red wood chips today,
I thought you might like them.
Today I work the soil here,
Four years since I pressed you in
Frail as the shroud you wore
At the pit for you and I
Rights shared, shoulders shaken,
The sigh as I lifted myself out.
I came when I could. Weeds,
Growing in braids on your barrow
Time would not be right,
To change that, to mark you out.
I am here now, I can do this duty
Like you had me do that duty
So I work, cut and hew the earth
For the Sleeping Shah of voice and rhythms.
In your verses, your father’s verses you called
For the Cup-bearer to pour Kauthar for you
And as I finish I see your friend
Who hands me a jug of Zam-Zam water
by Ali A. Naqvi