Poem: Drowning Out the Terrorist

May 13, 2006
You tell your grandmother
Theres no need to pick you up from the main entrance of the school
You can meet her around the corner
Because she wears a headscarf with no apology
And it is only five years after 9/11
May 14, 2006
Your friends tell you patriotism is a holy war
So you know they saw your grandmother yesterday
June 10th, 2006
You spend an entire four hours teaching her the English language
And tomorrow
You’ll spend another four removing her accent
August 10th, 2007
Your grandmother yells in Arabic at the kids in the pool
They called you terrorist
They blamed Islam
They were drowning you
It was intentional
August 13th, 2007
Is the third day you’ve called your grandmother a liar
When she tells your family your friends tried to drown the terrorist out of you
They were just playing
June 30, 2014
You haven’t thought about that incident
Until it was time to write your personal statement for college
Because America loves war
Even if its happening within you
October 12th, 2015
You roll your prayer rug between your headscarf
Find your way into an empty lounge within your building
Because your roommate was in the room
Because it’s her first time in America
And you don’t want her to feel threatened
June 31st, 2016
You haven’t seen your grandmother in nine years
And you wonder
Is she still drowning for you