Shine A Light

Birmingham for Tariq Jahan

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy's poem for Tariq Jahan. Tariq lost his son, Haroon, in a hit and run incident during riots in Birmingham, England on Wednesday.

Carol Ann
14 August 2011


After the evening prayers at the mosque,

came the looters in masks,

      and you three stood,

beloved in your neighbourhood,

brave, bright, brothers,

to be who you were –

a hafiz is one who has memorised

the entire Koran;

      a devout man –

then the man in the speeding car

who purposefully mounted the kerb …



I think we all should kneel

       on that English street,

where he widowed your pregnant wife, Shazad,

tossed your soul to the air, Abdul,

and brought your father, Haroon, to his knees,

his face masked in only your blood

on the rolling news

where nobody's children riot and burn.

Cross posted from the Guardian with thanks to Carol Ann Duffy

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