Devin Kelly: “I teach in New York City, and most of my students come from Arab families and are practicing Muslims. This poem responds to a moment I experienced while teaching, when a child expressed her fear of Islamophobia with the simple yet sorrowfully poignant statement. Obviously, the issue of ISIS and fundamentalists is not just pigeonholed as a weekly news topic—it has been prevalent throughout the past months. But this past week, with the ramping up of Islamic criticism by pundits such as Bill Maher, I thought it extremely pertinent to craft this poetic response and meditation, through the lens of a teacher, a person, and someone trying to grapple with all these things at once. ” (website)
Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of a new project in which poets respond to current events. A poem written within the last week about an event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday at Rattle.com. Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem, not its editorial position; any opinions expressed are solely those of the poet and do not necessarily reflect those of Rattle’s editors. To read poems from past weeks, visit the Poets Respond page. Interact on our Facebook group. To have a poem considered for next week’s posting, submit it here before midnight Friday PST.