The Praying Muslim

It's noonday now and time to pray

In dirty Cairo alleyway.

The beggar stops, removes his shoes;

He kneels to pray without recluse.

We Christians look surprised.


He's blind and faces west, not east

Where Mecca's prayers have shortly ceased.

His threadbare socks we would have spurned;

He prays to Allah unconcerned.

We Christians look surprised.


That beggar knows that God will hear

The prayer of every heart sincere

Position, time, dress, attitude,

Are but man's guess at solitude.

Are Christians still surprised?


February 1967