Father of a Terrorist

What can you tell me?
Is this the land of the free?
If I enter a store,
Will you search me all o’re?


It’s okay, I understand.
To your fear,
I fear,
I have lent a hand.


23 years ago, a tiny miracle exploded.
He breathed, cried with hopeful life.
He looked like his grandfather
And smiled like my wife.


So all I need you to tell me
Is what should I do
When he comes home to me?
“Sorry son, an apology just won’t do.”


I think he’ll know that
Yet who am I to say that?


I am the man who raised the boy who killed your wife.
Who stabbed you with decades worth of strife.


Tentatively I say: aren't we all to forgive all men?
Not this: "He, not them.
Only now, not then."
Press your ear to their thriving thumper/ blood pumper.
You’ll find: flesh hasn’t given up on them.
Neither has their mother.


I hear her through the knotted strings of strife,
When I walk down the rows
Of tents exploding with last-ditch life.
Her immovable words like a river flows:
“Lord, bring my son home to me!
Even if they yell and spit at me
Because I am the mother,
Who they say birthed a monster.”


I am the man who raised the boy who killed your wife.
I’d understand if you met me with a knife.
I hugged the little boy who exploded yours.
He used to play pretend fireman for hours.
I kissed the hands that built that bomb,
Loved him and taught him to say salaam.
It means peace, the root of the name Islaam.


All I need is for you to listen to me!
I thank you for your fake philanthropy.
I'm grateful
I sat in your muddy sand
And that even if you're fearful,
you're kinda lending a hand.


To the man who raised the boy who killed your wife
Who has given, and thus taken, life.
You know my nephew dreams of stew -he's starving. 
And my daughter has a bullet in her hamstring.
But all I need is for you to tell me:
Is this the land of the free?
Because my soul, my sorrow yearns and yearns to be
Set free.


And so will his.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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