The Girl

A new world was unfolding within her womb
a womb heavy with female-ness
the tugging and pulling of this girl-child, this female body meant warfare
in the safety of this mother’s womb was a girl-child ignorant of the world outside of her safe haven
a place where love allows her to dance, kick, move and be free as she may be
a place where she is not shackled or broken down by the boundaries of life or society

A new world was unfolding within her womb
the feeling of her daughter tossing and turning, turning and tossing
but like other bodies declared as female, she will have to learn how to fight
she will have to evoke a change, a revolution, a movement
she will be told that her female-ness is a weak-ness/less than her male-counterpart
a fighter, she must fight and strive in the path of love even when death and destruction is all around her

A new world was unfolding within her womb
like a record-player spinning a record endlessly , but unlike the record that plays and plays,
her daughter is going to be a child-soldier as soon as she leaves from her mother’s belly
she will be forced into pink, told she is a princess and taught that she should be protected because she is a gem that needs protection from damage

2012 Kansas City Missouri Police Department Crime Rates: “Theres A War Going On In My City….You’ve been sleeping too long…”

“Theres a war going on in my city and I’m not too sure if anyone else is noticing that there are people being drafted not knowing that they are fighting on the frontlines. You’ve been sleeping for too long but you have not been dreamless. The sounds of pummeling gunshots have made themselves too much like rain….” -Brave New Voices 2013 Final Round, Grand Slams Final

In listening to this video from Brave New Voices about the problems in Washington DC, I started thinking about my own city. On Monday, the United States of America commemorated nation-wide the service of men and women in the military but we have to extend our commemoration to the thousands and millions of lives that goes unclaimed and un-noticed in our cities and neighborhoods. These lives are the lives that we may hear about through our news’ channels, daily prayer-vigils or local papers, but they go un-noticed. In illustrating this, Renisha McBride, 19 years old, was murdered and laid to rest without her perpetrator being held into account for this horrendous action. There are soldiers dying everyday in our cities and neighborhoods to just stay alive, but many of us are sleeping. Many of us aren’t listening.

In looking at the crime statistics by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department in my city for 2012, I wept. I felt the poem that I watched by the four poets lingering through every part of my body. There was this actualization that this is my city. This is your city. This is all of our cities. However, the statistics are heart-wrenching because I’ve never seen anyone more “disposable than a black boy”. There is a war going on in my area and there’s war happening in these neighborhoods on a daily-basis. So, what do we do? How do we bring these soldiers back home?

According to the 2012 KCPD Statistics for Crimes
http://www.kcmo.org/idc/groups/police/documents/adacct/circles2_smallerversion2.pdf.pdf:

71% of victims are: Black Male
12% of victims are: Black Female
15% of victims are: White Male
7% of victims are: White Female
3% of victims are: Hispanic Male

Age of Victims:
0-16 years: 5%
17-24 years: 39%
25-34 years: 34%
35-44 years: 9%
45 and over: 21%

Means of Attack:
Firearm: 90%
Stabbing: 4%
Arson: 3%
Trauma: 4%
Other: 1%
Unknown: 6%

These statistics are straightforward and much work is to be done. We must wake up and learn to “stand together”. There must be proactive people like you to end these wars. There are wars happening and you are fighting every day you decide to live.

In the words of the four poets:
“When did it become so easy for them to buy out our silence”

Watching Her Tears Fall Like Bombs

I watched rain-drops drop like bombs
on these roads of broken-hearts
leaving shattered pieces of life looking up for hope
even though heads are bent low
looking for their Moses
in a world where there is only Pharaoh
Every death feeling like a struggle like bani Israel
the children of Israel
chained
Knocking at the door of their Lord
empty of everything except for their hope
in seek of His divine mercy
Where hearts are like coffins
lifeless as their hands are like flowers
blossoming with life
Living in a world where the sun never rises
as the crash of bombs light up this darkened place
in which they call home.

Their War-Cries Have Sung for Too Long

Her wounds bleed thoughts of freedom

Mentally imprisoned to the confines of personal thoughts

Her war-cries have been sung for too long

Seeking an exit from a war that will never end

Engulfed in solitary confinement

watching day and night merging together as one

inventing a paradise that will never be

she sulks in her state of emergency

walking amidst the crowded markets

seeing others like herself

not really living

simply existing

a pebble among diamonds

a canary among vultures

Unrelenting servitude to him

never asking for pen and paper

to engage her thoughts

never reaching forth for a book

because she understands that

learning yields consequences

never to question authority

for men carry an iron fist

ready to take charge

ready for bashing and beating a woman

into submission

into her womanly place

understanding that servitude is apart of life

where women and girls serve up men

caressing their egos

lying limp upon beds

crying streams of pain internally

no dissenting here

dissenters need not apply

young girls being sold to the highest bidder

tears gushing forth from her big and beautiful eyes

simply yielding to cultural norms

women being told to know their place

that women must not speak unless spoken to

a young pup frighten among a sea of wolves

her tears are there

their tears are there

covered up by the bruises that clad their bodies

the guillotine that awaits their head if they seek to stray away

these are not the fictional characters one may read

in stories

or watch in movies

but these are the girls and women of the world

fighting to have a voice that can’t be lifted

fighting to have a life that can’t be lived

fighting to have justice that will never come their way

these girls are our sisters in humanity

when will you stand up to help fight their fight

to help fight our fight

War-Torn Hearts

Too many do not understand our lives

Many rally and protest on our behalf

But they do not understand

Our pain extends in the morning through the nights

Lives will forever be changed.

Warm homes have become cold and soul-less.

Schools are dreary places where teachers are done teaching lessons, but students are getting first-hand experience in missiles, sudden attacks on homes, death, and war-fare.

Please make du’a for us.

Allah is the Giver and Taker of Life.

Our lives will never be the same

The warm smell of fresh bread being made by the local baker will never smell fresh again as the air is producing remnants of blood that has been shed by enemies at our home-fronts.

Tanks that surround the places we once visited often are now scenes of grief for us as our homes are intruded by those that do not understand us.

Our dead bodies are scattered across televisions, social-networks, and websites as if death is something that should be displayed like art-work at a museum.

Our tears run deep, but our pride will never allow our tragedy to stop us from being strong Muslims.

As you watch from your television screens, your computers, and your cell-phones remember we will always stand firm.

So don’t cry for us, but make du’a for us.

Let the one in whose Hand is our lives hear your prayers for He can only change the condition of a people.

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