To an All-American family


As I sit and ponder that darkest day,

I think of you.

I know you only from sharing a seat

on a vintage streetcar now used to

ferry tourists around a museum for trains.

On a summer’s day

A month and a million years

before that hateful morning.

You were just another American family,

more metal for the melting pot,

from the lands of Muhammad,

A young couple with babies and children

growing up around Allah,

But thinking of ‘N Sync and Sammy Sosa.

Are you safe?

Are you well?

Are you still free?

Has your skin caused others to look on in fear?

I wish you the best.

Others have come

and felt the wrath

They too, love the land.

This is one of three poems which I wrote in direct response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. A month before the attacks, I made my annual trek to the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, IL. When you go to the IRM, you have to ride the trolleys, you just have to. To do otherwise would be like going to a baseball game and not eating a hot dog. I shared this particular ride (on a 1923 car the museum had found in Egypt, no less) with a family of Middle Eastern decent. I don’t know if they were Muslims, but in light of recent events, I feel this piece is relevant.

 

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