Stanza 89


Now Qasim's father and his family
All gather round the corpse in misery
And vent their anguish in discordant tones.
They aren't surprised the infidel condones
The awful murder of their relative,
But can not understand repetitive
Attempts to prove the most ridiculous
Untruths were credible. The spurious
Defense the colonel gave exacerbates
The pain they feel and it humiliates
Them. While the people give their sorrow voice,
Religious obligation leaves no choice
But to make haste to cleanse and purify
The corpse. They wonder if they can rely
Upon the pumps and cisterns to provide
Sufficient water so the boy who died
Can be prepared for proper burial.
The import of this ceremonial
Ablution is so great despair and hope
Envelop them, and they can barely cope.