The early dawn lays over Merzuga's oasis
like a grey velvet blanket.
It muffles all sounds and wraps my body
gently in its soft veil.
The full moon descends delicately over the distant mountains;
its ethereal light illuminating the humble sand-brick dwellings
of the village.
The Sahara's dunes rise toward me,
out of the dark palm groves that border the flatlands,
and flow endlessly toward the sun's approaching entrance.
As I turn to meet the sunrise,
my bare feet step onto virgin ripples
new-formed by the night wind.
The sand under foot is at first hard,
then soft as my weight presses into
the silken layer beneath,
still cold with the night's passing.
The creeping dawn reveals other tracks across the sand besides my own,
who have hurried by
on their nightly business
under the safe protection
of the starry Saharan canopy:
Where are they now?
I sit at the crest of the tallest dune
and wrap my veil around my knees
waiting for the edge of the sun
to cleave into the desert
like a fiery hot scimitar.
The blade of daybreak cuts across the horizon
and the grey velvet gives way to dawn
turning the undulating dunes blood red
as it oozes toward me.
Snake-like shadows slither and shrink away
to hidden lairs beneath the sand
as the sun climbs higher and higher
transforming the soft night
into hard day.
Photos and Words by Bahira
A Visit to Morocco, 1987