The visitation

I am an orphan now, she said

sitting down beside me.


In Islam, mother comes first

second and third. Then father.


I’m sorry.


I asked her forgiveness

for changing faith. Our daughter

wrote a long letter.


She never understood.

Worried. But laughed. My goodness

there is nothing to forgive.




15 thoughts on “The visitation

  1. There is a depth in this conversation which I may never be able fathom. Yet, there is a part of me that resonates in complete tune with those words. Thank You, Chris! You have stirred something in my soul.
    May you always, be blessed, always.

  2. I am intrigued by this poem Chris. The subject matter is a departure from the setting which you usually write from and it is rich in the worlds it opened up to me. I recalled a conversation I had with a dear Muslim friend in Afghanistan and it became apparent to me the dignity and reverence accorded to his mother – as captured here in your work. I would love to hear more of the inspiration of this piece.
    With much gratitude to you my dear friend. Sharon

    • Hi Sharon,

      A departure indeed, and perhaps evidence that I need to get out more (other than walking in the woods that is).

      I felt very fortunate to have this moment with a woman (a neighbour) whose mother (also a neighbour) had just passed away. Although we have lived a few doors down for many years, our conversations are always just in passing. The daughter sat down beside me at her mother’s visitation and this very deep and easy conversation simply happened. Though we talked for a long time, I was pleased to capture the essence of her words in this short piece.

      This wasn’t the first time that an encounter with her or her husband opened up my appreciation for the richness of spiritual and cultural differences. The daughter, a Canadian was raised Christian and converted to Muslim when she married her husband, a gentleman from Pakistan.

      All the best Sharon,

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