Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from 2Deep the Poetess, host of tonight’s “11th Hour” Poetry Slam at 14th & V. The “11th Hour” Poetry Slam is presented by Busboys and Poets and is held on the second Friday of every month at Busboys and Poets 14th & V.

2DEEP

Muslim Angel
by 2Deep the Poetess

Rush Hour

Dim light

The sound of the hustle and bustle of destined feet rush by

Head bobbing to the rhythm of modern complacency

Conformed to public transportation etiquette

Confined

Blending

Silenced

Until

Muslim angel,

Because such a thing exists,

Dressed in full, all white garb

Hijab edges outlined in sea-foam blue,

Magnifying her faith 10 times over,

Wonders towards me in a 5th attempt to gain assistance

Previous attempts brushed off by head turns

Flaps of Express newspapers in response to her

Popping like bullets of insults

As headlines of Osama’s demise dangle in her face

As if to say, “Look at what we can do to your kind, here inAmerica”

I saw this

In that moment, I was not proud to be an American

If this was, in fact, the way an American should act

I knew it was not her Farsi trained tongue exercising broken English

That made them ignore her requests

I understood her just fine

“Help me”, sprang from her lips

And translated to comprehension via my eyes

Before I even removed my headphones

I asked if she could repeat herself

“Good Morning”, she said

“Help me, please.

Van Doren.”

Without second thought I took the metro map out of her hand

Took her hand in my other and said, “Follow me.

I will take you.”

A gasp schoolyard bullied its way out of the throat of the Caucasian woman standing next to me

Eavesdropping getting the best of her

My original mission of getting to work on time escaping me

This was bigger than me

Something greater inside of me whispered

“Do not let go of her hand.”

And I obeyed

Seemingly safe within the metal cage

Transporting civilians into the breast of the Confederacy

Older Black woman sang disgust

Like a house nigger gawking

As if I was a field nigger threatening to bring mud into the big house

Exercising her Jim Crow

Removing herself from the front of the car, next to us, to sit elsewhere

Muslim Angel and I stuck out like sore thumbs

Comparison to Freedom Bus rides

We sat front seat at society’s counter

Demanding we be served respect

Express newspaper under my thigh

Feeling guilty for seeking out current events

For today I now knew

I was not proud to be an American

She was I and I was she

And here we sat

Traveling to a place where only one of us knew how to get to

Me to Van Doren

She to a place where she could brave the prejudice and still keep her chin high while seeking help

She needing to know what I knew and vice versa

Yet we sat in silence

Communicating through squeezed palms

Praying to one another for remaining true to who they were

And though she spoke Farsi and I English

We both managed, somehow, to speak human

And we continued to hold on to one another

“Next stop Van Doren”, rang over the intercom

Promised land for her and I

As I walked her out to the platform of her destination

Allah shook God’s hand

Hugged

And said many thanks

All the while I noticed we never said bye

Never shared names

Yet knowing we were sisters just the same

Understanding our coexistence in the midst of those who merely exist

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