Stanza 97


The time has come to offer funeral prayers
That are required. The congregation shares
In the divine responsibility
To offer orisons so God may be
Most pleased by their devout obedience.
The shrouded body raises sentiments
Of grief and anger as the bearers lay
It on the ground face up and all who pray
Perform the tayammum that must be done
To cleanse their bodies before everyone
Lines up behind the cleric who will lead
The worshipers. The leader of their creed
Now faces Qiblah over the defiled
Cadaver of his innocent young child
And stands halfway between the head and feet
Of his dead son. Against the shrouding sheet
His clothing brushes as the breezes blow
And tug the mullah's garments to and fro.
Three times to honor The Compassionate
The mullah calls out loudly, "As Salat."