Poem: The Last Bison

American bison

An American bison

The Last Bison

You glow
like Venus in the delicate dawn’s light.
You are sunshine
on blue water,
a patch of sky, bright
on a winter day,
an aspen
shaking off snow.
A flash of flowing robe
and clear eyes.

I am a dark star,
a sculpted bronze
coated in tar,
a stranger than fiction
Truman Capote dream.
I’ve got bitterroot tea
for blood. I’m the last bison
on the vanishing plain,
struck by bullets
from passing trains.

Will I wake one morning
and feel strangely light,
the pain and fright of a lifetime
flooded away
as if by my native Nile,
leaving me scoured,
pure, blinking like a child?
Will I stand and stretch,
laugh in surprise, and then,
remembering my Lord,
bow and prostrate, purifed?

Wael Abdelgawad, November 2010

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , Read 266 articles by
6 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SisterZ says:


  2. GenDarmeRie1020 says:

    What actually drew my attention >>
    & was the keyword to make my Move in commenting was :
    the Nile River >>
    Yes, it does wash away your pain & fright if you thought about it this way>>
    Honestly, is it sent to someone special?
    maybe someone who changed the way u look 2 life in another angle?
    Well, it’s a great poem >>
    Well DoNe >>

  3. Shireen says:

    Some how I get a sense that you already have akhi, Alhamdulilah. Pain only runs as deep as you allow it to go!

    • wael says:

      Not quite, but I’m on my way Insha’Allah. I started that poem back in 2009, during a very difficult period. I have definitely healed from that time, and I’m feeling good these days Alhamdulillah.

      Well, I’ll have to reply to any further comments later, because my daughter is taking over the computer now to watch Casper the Friendly Ghost.


  4. Shireen says:

    Alhamdulilah I’m glad to hear that!

    The point of pain/trails is not to forget it, but it’s to accept it. And of course to learn from it, that doesn’t mean by becoming a fitnah yourself but turning to Allah swt, ‘fasbrun jamil’:)

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