La ilaha illa Allah,” (No god but God)
I stuttered
—with a Canadian accent—
as I took my mother in between my arms.

An emotional gap between us—
mothered and motherless—
and a fear of the emerge of another.   

We cringed.

…….she’d tell me her mother had never embraced her either.

Since I could remember
until a year ago,
my mother laid a thick blanket
atop of me at dawn.

What’s an embrace but warmth shielding you from a frigid world?

Mohammed Rasulu Allah,” (Mohammed is the messenger of God)
she enunciated, giggling.

she embarked on her trip to the motherland;
…….I lodged in the homeland.

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NOFEL is an Arabo-Anglophone writer based in Canada. His poetry has appeared in Snapdragon Journal and the Packingtown Review. He is also a regular columnist at Here magazine.