Emad Fouad
Emad Fouad
A Day In The Life Of A Little Angel
The angel wakes up
every morning
like an ordinary soldier
He gets trained in good deeds
and guiding lost souls

He forgets himself all day long
He hasn’t reunited two hearts
or stopped sin
from penetrating souls

The poor little one
was still fresh in this world
when a beautiful woman passes by
he hides his white wings under his arms
When he passes a lover
he hides his tear under his long eyelashes

The little angel wakes up
every morning
like a woman in charge of a big family
full of divine energy
and the love he drank drop by drop
from God’s spoon
He knows
that he has many tasks
and if he procrastinates
his competitors will win

The angel wakes up
like a student
like a husband struggling to make ends meet
like a sun that knows
the world needs its loose warmth

He looks at his plants
just before leaving
He flutters his wings lovingly
as if drawing oxygen from the air in corners
into the pores of the leaves and branches
then he leaves
without noticing the sweet basil’s smile
or the laugh of the old cactus
in the corner

The morning trickled like water
through his fingers
whenever he tried to catch it
but he still clings to the teachings
and starts his daily work:

He caresses a pregnant woman’s belly
as she gives birth in an ambulance
makes a bullet swerve a little
away from a soldier’s heart
whose beard has yet to flower
He plants peace and calm
between an old man
and his disobedient son

He rejoices like a child
when he lifts a little bird
learning to fly
into the air

The little angel returns from his morning tour
to the training camp
no weapons on his shoulders
not a spec of dust
on his white wings
no fatigue
nothing but a head brimful of thoughts:
What if the newborn in the ambulance
became a criminal
or a drug dealer?

How is he to know that the soldier
whose beard has yet to flower
would not kill the shooter?

The angel is saddened twice:
once for knowing that the irreverent son
will kill his old man while he sleeps

and once for knowing
that the little bird
will never fly high
without totally forgetting
its fear of flying

April 2002

Translated by Sinan Antoon
from the author’s collection
Taqa-ud Zeer Nisaa’ Ajooz
[Retirement of an old Womaniser]
Cairo 2002