Abeerah walks into the classroom
like she owns it.
Wears a white head scarf
you know you're not allowed to wear hoods in class
take off your hood Abeerah.
A poochy cheeked boy shadows her.
Abeerah chides back.
I, the substitute, take control
Both of you sit down and be quiet!
It was probably a good opportunity
to explain to them
the importance of being sensitive
when it comes to matters of race and religion,
but I was the substitute,
this wasn't my classroom,
these weren't my students
so I let it go.
I wondered what it was like for Abeerah
September of 2001.
She would've been in 1st grade--
if the student's didn't understand now,
I hate to imagine what it was like then.
I wondered what her teachers did,
if they tried to explain things to the class,
they told the class to sit down and be quiet
and let it go--
hoping that it would go somewhere
far from their classroom
never to come back again.