Tarfia Faizullah

“Poem Full of Worry Ending with My Birth”

I worry that my friends
will misunderstand my silence

as a lack of love, or interest, instead
of a tent city built for my own mind,

I worry I can no longer pretend
enough to get through another

year of pretending I know
that I understand time, though

I can see my own hands; sometimes,
I worry over how to dress in a world

where a white woman wearing
a scarf over her head is assumed

to be cold, whereas with my head
cloaked, I am an immediate symbol

of a war folks have been fighting
eons-deep before I was born, a meteor.

—Tarfia Faizullah
—from Poem-a-Day April 10, 2018 (Academy of American Poets)

[photo: NER]

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