Thursday, April 17, 2008


Abeerah walks into the classroom
like she owns it.

Wears a white head scarf
with sequins--

you know you're not allowed to wear hoods in class
take off your hood Abeerah.
A poochy cheeked boy shadows her.

Shut-up Oreo!!
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,
or if
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.


Spiro said...


i'm glad i found your poetry blog. your picture reminds me of the youtube video, "the worst fight scene ever"

whiskey-j said...

this poem is really good. thank you jake.

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