~*2Deep*~

Muslim Angel: A Poem

In So-Shall Experience, Writer's Block on 5 May 2011 at 12:03 pm

       

        So, today is May 5th. When I woke up this morning I had nothing more than thoughts of foolish acts and enough liqour to make me forget about what I did.  But as my luck would have it…. it didnt turn out that way.

        I was minding my own business on the Washington, D.C. subway/metro system when something outrageous occurred. I witness Americans discriminating against a Muslim woman who was merely seeking help to get to another metro station.  She was no taller than about 5’5, 5’6 at the most, and between the ages of 48 to 54. She posted no threats whatsoever. When I tell you that I was soooo disgusted that I had to step in and do my part….. you cant even imagine what was going on in my soul.  As a black woman it clicked, as an American I was ashamed, and as a human I felt compelled to do whatever I could. All of this just 2 days after the news broke that Osama bin Laden was killed.

        I went to twitter and I posted the following status: “Dear Muslim woman dressed in full attire, I saw the looks we got on the metro as I helped you find Van Doren. I now understand.” Immediately upon writing that I wrote, “Pardon me….. I am inspired to write a poem.” And I did.

        Work was not a concern of me at the moment. I took to my computer and wrote the following poem:

Muslim Angel

By: 2Deep the Poetess (www.2deepuncensored.wordpress.com)

May 5, 2011

 

Rush Hour

Dim light

The sound of the hustle and bustle of destined feet rush by

Head bobbing to the rhythm of modern complacency

Conformed to public transportation etiquette

Confined

Blending

Silenced

Until

Muslim angel,

Because such a thing exists,

Dressed in full, all white garb

Hijab edges outlined in sea-foam blue,

Magnifying her faith 10 times over,

Wonders towards me in a 5th attempt to gain assistance

Previous attempts brushed off by head turns

Flaps of Express newspapers in response to her

Popping like bullets of insults

As headlines of Osama’s demise dangle in her face

As if to say, “Look at what we can do to your kind, here inAmerica”

I saw this

In that moment, I was not proud to be an American

If this was, in fact, the way an American should act

I knew it was not her Farsi trained tongue exercising broken English

That made them ignore her requests

I understood her just fine

Help me”, sprang from her lips

And translated to comprehension via my eyes

Before I even removed my headphones

I asked if she could repeat herself

Good Morning”, she said

Help me, please.

Van Doren.”

Without second thought I took the metro map out of her hand

Took her hand in my other and said, “Follow me.

I will take you.”

A gasp schoolyard bullied its way out of the throat of the Caucasian woman standing next to me

Eavesdropping getting the best of her

My original mission of getting to work on time escaping me

This was bigger than me

Something greater inside of me whispered

Do not let go of her hand.”

And I obeyed

Seemingly safe within the metal cage

Transporting civilians into the breast of the Confederacy

Older Black woman sang disgust

Like a house nigger gawking

As if I was a field nigger threatening to bring mud into the big house

Exercising her Jim Crow

Removing herself from the front of the car, next to us, to sit elsewhere

Muslim Angel and I stuck out like sore thumbs

Comparison to Freedom Bus rides

We sat front seat at society’s counter

Demanding we be served respect

Express newspaper under my thigh

Feeling guilty for seeking out current events

For today I now knew

I was not proud to be an American

She was I and I was she

And here we sat

Traveling to a place where only one of us knew how to get to

Me to Van Doren

She to a place where she could brave the prejudice and still keep her chin high while seeking help

She needing to know what I knew and vice versa

Yet we sat in silence

Communicating through squeezed palms

Praying to one another for remaining true to who they were

And though she spoke Farsi and I English

We both managed, somehow, to speak human

And we continued to hold on to one another

Next stop Van Doren”, rang over the intercom

Promised land for her and I

As I walked her out to the platform of her destination

Allah shook God’s hand

Hugged

And said many thanks

All the while I noticed we never said bye

Never shared names

Yet knowing we were sisters just the same

Understanding our coexistence in the midst of those who merely exist

I hope that you enjoyed the poem. I want to hear your thoughts on it. Your thoughts on the situation and anything else that you have to say. I pray that there are other people out there who think like I do and would have done the same thing.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

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  1. thank you for writing this poem and for helping her find the metro stop

  2. Thank you, My Sweet. May Allah Bless you. I love Saffiyah too. I became Muslim in DC in 1973 and remember the taunts, stares and insults as we moved to break the mold and wear the hijab. It is very interesting to look up and see 50 people…one hundred eyes staring at you at the same time. My son used to say…they are staring at me. One learns to lower the gaze, but the hijab is truly a sheild and a protection; and fun to wear. It is a test. It draws a line in the sand of who will hurt and who will help you. May Allah protect you, My Sweet. When you are in your moment of need, may Allah assign someone to come to your rescue; as you have done for your sister in need.

    • Thank you, Kauthar. As a Christian I was taught that wrong is wrong, no matter the shade of your skin, religion, or gender. I saw wrong and I stepped in. It just so happened that the surrounding circumstances had to deal with race and religion on such a high scale. If it were so that time could be rewound, I would do it again in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. She is my sister, Safi is my sister, YOU are my sister…. and the sooner we figure this out the better off we will be. Blessings!

  3. So many lines moved me in ways difficult to describe: “As if I was a field nigger threatening to bring mud into the big house”…”She was I and I was she”…”We both managed, somehow, to speak human”…”Allah shook God’s hand”…and of course,”Understanding our coexistence in the midst of those who merely exist”. Beautiful…but then, I have never seen/heard anything from u that wasn’t. Thank you from the dept of my soul…not just for the poem, but for u being you.
    U have always filled me with joy…Ur open heart shining a path I have never sought, never felt I needed, but always welcomed and appreciated…the path of acceptance…of one woman to another, one sister to another, one human being to another…one light of energy to another. U have moistened the corners of my crescent moon smile with tears of joy and love. thanx, sis…

    • DON’T MAKE ME CRY SAFI!!!!!!! I have to keep up my hood image! lol. You are messing up my street credit. You know everyone thinks I’m an ass…..lol. But I hear your words, I accept them, and I am grateful for them. I am extremely appreciative of the fact that I have you in my life. Glad that I could touch you. Between us(and the strangers reading this….lol)….. this is the first full poem I have written in 2 years. The only one I felt compelled to share. Wrote it in 10 minutes and posted. This was my rough draft. So it means a lot to hear that you like it.

  4. You did the right thing..sad to see people still treat each other so cruel..your poem is beautiful…

    • Thanks! I am still sitting here at work unable to be productive. Feeling as if there was something more that I could have done. Wondering if she made it safely to where she was truly headed. I wish I had gotten her name. But like a co-worker said, I was too busy building a safety force field around us to worry about the exchange of names. Thanks for reading.

      • Your co worker was right…there were two angels on that train this morning…one spoke Farsi, and one spoke Love & Courage…

        • Thanks Safi! Like I told you….. I had to do it for myself and for my friends like you. I would be ready to fight if I saw someone ignore you based on your attire and due to their ignorance. I have the pleasure of calling you friend and learning from you and I wish that others could have the same heart as you do. Love you, diva!

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