Heeerrrrre we go! National Poetry Month, 30/30. Day 1 of 30

So, I’ve been in hiding. Social media hiding. And it’s been wonderful. I’m fine. Just needed to focus on my work. BUT, April is here, which means it’s time for me to attempt to do what I (and lots of my friends) always do, National Poetry Month, 30/30. A poem a day for the entire month, which is honestly just ridiculous, but I do it anyway. Remember, these are ROUGH DRAFTS. Okay…here we go!

YUSUF (for a young man Brendan and I met in Wellesley, MA)

In a crowd of his peers
Yusuf the tallest eighth grader
rose like an obelisk
stone and symbolic and
coded and misunderstood
by those that only see him
as a random spike
in the town square

he wanted to know
our thoughts on religious freedom
he wanted to know
if we’d ever had porkchops
hurled at our windows
if we’d ever had paper tacked
to our Mosque door
where the A in Allah
a tent
a home of warmth and respect
had been turned to missile-head
he wanted to know
what he should do

and I wanted to say
to Yusuf the tallest eighth grader
with legs of a grown man and
heart of anything but

I wanted to say to him
so much
so much
wanted to say
sweet child
sweet child
don’t cry
don’t worry
the world is yours
but I could not tell him
to just be thirteen

I could not tell him
a lie


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