What’s In A Name

What’s her name?
Simple question
from mother to son –
recognizing the love-lifted
joy of his countenance.

I cannot tell, said he,
you’ll ask too many questions.
Do I know her?
No, Mom, she’s Somali.
And Muslim.

I felt my whiteness
and all its privilege
slap me, stumbled

Of course she is welcome,
of course it does not matter.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how heads
would turn, and vile strangers
attack, and his father shun them.

And how her own mother
would advise her to take his name
when the day of their nuptials came
so that finding work would be easier.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how
everyday matters suffer
unfair scrutiny –

hold them in my heart
and pray, knowing my shield
of whiteness holds no sway
to protect them.

(What’s in a Name first appeared here in February of 2019.  It fits with this week’s focus of privilege. )

Thank you to all who participated in this week’s challenge:

DOES WRITING EXCUSE WATCHING?
PoetryPalette
I Write Her
MMAStorytime
michnavs
COLOURFUL PIE IN THE SKY
parallax
radhikasreflection
Sharing Thoughts
Stuff and what if…
Sgeoil
paensunplugged

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

14 thoughts on “What’s In A Name

  1. “Had no sense of the depth
    of my ignorance, how
    everyday matters suffer
    unfair scrutiny –” how easily we ignore our ignorance! A very powerful yet tender verse. As a mother of teenagers I keep hoping my kids won’t make things difficult for me. But that is so selfish. It is their happiness that matters the most.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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