A Declaration by Fatima

by Mark Chmiel

My friend Fatima Rhodes shared this with me, and I am happy to share it here.

 

America, I have been talking to you a lot lately. This one is for you.

I will register

I will register as a mother of two
And a mother-in-law of one

I will register as a woman
As as sister to many
As a beloved daughter

I will register as a French teacher
Who believes that first you treat students
Like people then you can teach them

I will register as an Arabic interpreter
Who believes that words are most powerful
So I use them with caution

I will register as a poet
Who will sing America’s beauty
And her shortcomings too

I will register as an immigrant
Who spent the last 30 years
Giving back to and never giving up
On America

I will register as a community volunteer
As a supporter of the marginalized
As the protector of the children

I will register as an Arab, as an American
As a Muslim and as an immigrant
Knowing they will register too
Christians, Jews, Hindus
Hispanics, Asians, Whites and Blacks

I will register too if I weren’t Muslim
If I were White, if I were rich or poor
You would register too if you really loved her
You would register to save America from itself

18 November 2016

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