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About Author 

Last Dusk of Ramadan  
by Nancy Louise Cook 

Nancy Louise Cook, Traveling through Turkey

Nancy Cook is a social practice writer. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches art, serves as flash fiction editor for Kallisto Gaia Press, and runs “The Witness Project” (a free community writing workshop for underrepresented voices).

Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has been awarded grants from, but not limited to: the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Parks Arts Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Humanities Center, and Integrity Arts and Culture. She is particularly interested in exploring the intersections of geography, history, and cultural heritage in her work.

The sun traces 

patterns of colorful head scarves and trailing hijabs, 

follows fine silk threads to imported Nikes and leather sandals  

crafted up north in Bursa, wraps its warmth around the women and 

their mysterious thoughts. 


The sun massages 

the pale pink dome of Hagia Sophia, the spires of 

the great Blue Mosque, the caramelized stone of Topkapi –

which once sheltered the Sultan’s harem, his armies, and all his 

glittering jewels. 


The sun fires 

the canvas roof of the Grand Bazaar, heats the oils and spices 

trapped inside, illumines the blue-white tiles, brazen with tulips and 

scarlet carnations – symbols of faithfulness and desire, that say welcome 

at a hammam door. 


The sun glazes 

gentle swells of the Golden Horn, drifting tides of the Marmara Sea and 

the Bosphorus Straits; high above Galata Bridge, its mantle of light breathes 

and sways, as it dazzles, distracts, and deceives, while scammers tell flattering tales 

to unwise tourists. 


The sun rises 

early and late; it is a call to worship, nestles the echoes of chants  

softly rendered, as they pass through warm, still air, from minaret to minaret, 

skimming over rivers, sweeping past traffic, entering the shaded windows of every 

stuccoed home. 


The sun bursts 

in terrifying memories from the chambers of flaring guns, 

explodes in televised images of retaliation and war, ignites 

flashbacks that burn in the hearts of survivors and innocents, and 



The sun is 

the city’s prayer as it skips over cobbles on narrow city streets, floats  

on a just wind from mosque to mosque, counsels patience as it slowly descends  

over every public park and green space where, this year – as for centuries before –

on this last dusk of Ramadan, fasting families of faith with their lovingly prepared picnics 

are waiting.

©Reward Publishing 2023