Saturday, September 10, 2011

America: Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, they turned the televisions off.
Ten years ago, they refused to speak to us.

Ten years ago, the class bell still rang.
But, they stopped teaching and we played guessing games.

Ten years ago, we still changed rooms.
Ten years ago, we walked empty hallways of middle school.
Because ten years ago there were no instructions, no plans or rules.

Ten years ago, my mother took me out of class.
Ten years ago, she refused to speak to us.

Ten years ago, she called our father in D.C.
She twisted our corded phone and waited impatiently.

Ten years ago, American meant brother.
Ten years ago, Bush was our father.
Because ten years ago, all we had were one another.

Ten years ago, terrorism meant muslims, and muslims were blamed.
Ten years ago, Hussain was my friend's last name.

For ten years, I hated and baited and played-
On my friend, her family, and her last name.
And for ten years, she took it and shook it off.
And still she never stopped talking to us.

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