How many words she’s read before, she’s consumed two thousand books or more.
Musty pulp and glue soundproof her tiny room.
She cannot understand why this book in her hand
fascinates her now so much that she’s almost shy to touch.
“Don’t think about the words it’s just a book – paper and ink”
She reaffirms, remind herself, “a book can’t dictate what to think.”
It invites, intrigues her more than others on her shelf
“Is it just another book?” – she sits questioning herself.
Oh Allah, she’s so afraid to read,
the wisdom that’s revealed may burrow in her mind
She’ll be obliged to admit,
She’ll be obliged to submit
But will she be strong enough to live the truth she finds?
Oh Allah, she’s so afraid to read.
The hall light is always on every night that he is gone.
He hears his mother toss in bed when he slips in at dawn.
In the book case by the stair, he can see it sitting there
like a waiting watchful wise-man scolding him with care.
In the morning will they fight about him being out all night?
Will he resent their gift of love and not admit that they are right?
All he wants is to fit in some place, but must he compromise his faith?
He can’t look himself or his parents in the face.
He takes the book upstairs unread and sets it closed next to his head
then counts the prayers he’s missed and lays so hopelessly in bed.
Oh Allah, he’s so afraid to read,
the wisdom that’s revealed may burrow in his mind
He’ll be obliged to admit,
He’ll be obliged to submit
But will he be strong enough to live the truth he finds?
Oh Allah, he’s so afraid to read.
I sent an email to my loved one, just the other day
It’s sad communication has evolved this way.
We use so many words but have so little to relay
as angels scribble down every letter that we say.
All the viral attachments sent and passionate insults we vent
It’s easy to be arrogant behind user passwords we invent.
But on the day the scrolls are laid, with every word and deed displayed,
when we read our accounts, I know, for one, I’ll be afraid.
That day I’ll be so afraid to read,
every harsh word that I’ve spoken – and every time I have lied.
I’ll be obliged to admit,
I’ll be obliged to submit
Will I have strength owning up to each deed I’ve tried to hide?
Oh Allah, I’m so afraid to read.