My Arabic teacher looked at me yesterday,

as wrinkles slow danced with darting eyes,

and he sighed.

When I compare the poverty I see in towns here,

and the poverty of my home in Jordan,

I see it clearer here.

It is worse here.

He touched the rim of his baseball cap,

as silence fell upon my heart,

as shame caressed my head.

At least in Jordan,

            there is kindness.

I wanted to object,

find a way to defend the country who raised me,

            the one that watched me thrive,

as others stumbled, 

but I was mute.

My lips sealed by the veracity just spoken.


Kindness is a foreigner here.

            She was deported long ago.

Compassion is landlocked here,

            crumbled in between neo nazi ganders.

            decaying under confederate flag freedom.

Understanding is buried here,

            below nameless graves,

                                    mass murders,

                                                school shootings,

                                                                        racial slurs. 

Humanity is a stranger in the body of this country.

            and this country is a stranger in my own.

This poem is about: 
My country


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