Poem: Welcome, Old Friend

It is strange how something that has been away for nearly a year 
Feels like it was with me just yesterday.
I pick up where I left off, like with a dear old friend.

It is strange how I can suddenly be so comfortable with the hunger 
That I usually cannot tolerate for more than a few minutes.
The emptiness that I loathe is now welcome, wanted, craved.

It is strange that I even wonder at this. Well known are
The blessings of this month, which flow through all who take part.
I give up little with my fast. I am given so much in return.

It is strange how the time passes. Thirty days now seem so long
But I know the end will soon be here and my beloved companion,
Not long arrived, will have to move on.

So it is strange and yet not so strange at all
That I already find myself heavy-hearted,
Grieving the farewell moment though it has only just begun.

The story behind the poem

I wrote this poem in 2010 when I was emerging from a challenging period in my life. Shamelessly leaning on a cliché here, it would be fair to say that spiritually speaking, I had been lost in a desert. Then Ramadan came along like an oasis. The relief, tranquillity, and replenishment it gave me immediately had me thinking about how I didn’t want it to end, when it had barely gotten underway.

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