“Have you ever felt like jumping off the world?”

Upon the questioner’s face my gaze falls.
Frozen tears avalanche and melt into warm streams.
Her face screams through tired creases as she whispers,
“I want my fingertips to grace the sky as it blushes a stain of plum
With my arms thrown up as I dive off the earth and splash into the universe.”

I watch her peer back at me from behind the watery curtains that drape her irises.
“Eardrums burst and walls shatter when they spit spears at each other.
They snarl as they fire cannons of words at one another’s faces.
Thereafter, silence stabs the brittle air, shattering it.
The pieces fall on the floor and gather dust
As they turn blind and deaf to the presence of the other.”

I ask if they’ve done the same to her; she solemnly shakes her head.
“Only she who bore me.
My roots burned when she clenched and yanked on a fistful of hair.
She twisted my head this way and that,
Turning me into a puppet as I barely touched the floor.
Letting out trepid shrieks and wails, she released me and screamed.
Sprawled on the floor, I wondered what it would feel like to jump off the world.”

But she gave birth to you, and she once gave you tender warmth, I murmur.

“She was so adamant that my disorder would rot the rest of me,
That my beauty was stripped, and I was bare in shame,
That I would shrivel alone in the hospital
To the extent that she wouldn’t be beside me.
Despite it all, I couldn’t shrug off the agony and jump off the face of the earth.
How could I say goodbye to the ones who brought me up when I was young?”

My eyes wander over her face.
“I cannot bid farewell.
They may not hold on to each other; she may not hold on to me
But I found a way to embrace them – with Sabrun Jameel:
Beautiful Patience.”

“I will only jump off the face of the earth to lament to Almighty God.
Was it not Prophet Ya’qub who only complained of his suffering and grief to Him?”

I agree that it was indeed true Sabrun Jameel.
I gaze at her watching me
As one last tear meanders down her face, I lift my hand to wipe it off.
At last, I rub my cheek to dry the skin,
Smiling at my reflection in the mirror.


In this poem, there are two speakers: one with her dialogue in quotation marks, and the other without. The first describes how her parents fight in the second verse and how her mother treats her harshly. She then describes her mother’s abuse, and how she is scolded about her skin disorder. The feeling of “jumping off the face of the earth” is not referencing suicide, but a way to figuratively describe her longing to liberate her soul and body from the hardship at home. But she realized that although her parents may mistreat her, they still are her parents who raised her and cared for her when she was young. She finds a solution by remembering Prophet Ya’qub who only complained of his grief to Allah, thus allowing him to have beautiful patience and not run from the present situation. She decided that she would only liberate herself from agony by confiding in Allah alone. At the end of the poem, it is understood that the two speakers were actually just one girl talking to her reflection in the mirror.

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7 Responses to "Jumping Off the World"

  1. Arif Kabir says:

    Great perspective, masha’Allah! When I read the last part, I immediately thought of how Golem would speak to himself, but found this to be even deeper because in this case, the character was actually able to come terms with herself – which was very poetically illustrated through the line “At last, I rub my cheek to dry the skin”.

  2. Raadia says:

    Sumaira! You’ve done it again. I love every one of your poems and this one is no different. The word choice, the topic, the way everything is conveyed… it flowed really well, and made this feeling of thoughtfulness and peace settle in my stomach… hard to explain.

    Thank you for this beautiful work, definitely keep it up, insha Allah!

    • Sumaira says:

      Raadia, jazakha’Allahu khair for your kind words. Reading your comment means a lot to me, especially for this particular piece. This poem is even more personal to me than the other two pieces that have been published here on MYM so far. Haha, reading your comment almost brought a tear to my eye. I am so grateful that you appreciate reading my work. It gives me the feeling that what I have to say holds value. So thank you again.

    • Sabera says:

      Completely agree with sister Raadia. Masha’Allah, the piece sounded so heartfelt like all your pieces do. :)
      May Allah increase us all in patience. Ameen.

  3. shiney says:

    i really liked this because it was different…the topic, the way you wrote the poem, everything…keep writing!

  4. MashAllah lovely language and flow of the words.

  5. RZ says:

    Sumaira, you are such a wonderful storyteller. Loved it, mashaAllah.