Wasted Beauty


Aneeqa reads the Turk Bible while traveling the Holy Land in an area where Israeli soldiers keep constant watch. In Bethlehem, she crosses a hillside of red poppies with a baby in her arm––a little girl named Consciousness. “What if every negotiation began with getting all the vested parties together,” Aneeqa imagines, “and once they arrive, you close the door & suck all the air out of the room very fast. Then, only after compromise, plants are added one by one.” She whispers into the baby’s ear, “All this beauty wasted on war.” In the baby’s face, Aneeqa sees hujja––“proof of the divine.” She has a vision of Arwa al-Sulayhi––the long reigning eleventh century Poet-Queen. Wild plums ripen over a purple woodpile the color of shadows. As she passes through the market she hears an almond farmer say, “Some tell themselves they’ll come back when things get better. But things never get better.”



[Published in The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition.

© 2016 by Jim Cohn.]




The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition
(MAP Publications, 2016)