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Patricia Byron Hariri
February 2, 2005

Chanting from the mosque echoed throughout the marketplace
A burly fishmonger shouts proudly of his latest catch
People shoving in line at a bakery to get the last of the fresh bread
A narrow alley reeks of ancient culture read about in history books

A westerner walks among their civilization
Outside the mosque she sees a crowd of men dressed in black and unshaven
Some teary eyed. Some somber,
One of their own had died
Maybe a father or brother
Perhaps the death anniversary of a fallen war hero

The chanting at the mosque intensified with greater magnitude
The fishmonger changed his bloody apron to a black shirt
The bakery locked its door

The westerner glanced back at the crowd in front of the mosque
I will eat bread and fish tonight...

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Book of the day

Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis

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