Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Hijrah’ – a poem by Imad Khan

Photo by Steve McSkudder on Unsplash 




I’ve been here and there
looking for my Promised Land
hearing sweet voices through the wall
and the sound of my boots on gravel

straining my ear at the feedback
crackle of the universe and treating it,
like everything else,
as primary evidence

back then, God drifted
between days and clouds
with his cosmic spyglass
burning a hole through the sun

or just dancing there
between proof and desertion

I waited for Him in the cloud of dust
that my brother left us
when he drove off far from here

but my panic set me down gently
in a parking lot off Ilford High Street,
deep in dreams.

Grey morning filled my eyes
I had gone blind with His fleeting image
staggering home in the half-light

to my father’s voice
making the house shake with adhaan

my mother whispering prayers
wiping her tears

and my little brother half-prostrated
in mock-salah grinning at me

he asks me who God is
and where He lives


* Hijrah: A migration or sacred journey, often used to refer to Prophet Muhammed’s escape from persecution in Mecca to refuge in the city of Medinah