Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A high school prayer of refuge

Afternoon in the West,
A student walks the line
Of shadows on the field

Red hijab under a black hoodie
Just flowing with no obsessed pockets
No black or red flag hanging from them

Just posted
Contemplating the line between shadow
And slanted red autumn sun

Pacing like a pilgrim from the 40 yard line to the soccer goal and back
While cell phone ringtones
Pop off like gun shots
She cuts through their orbits in calm silence
Like a razor sharp call to prayer

She reminds me of the times I used to act so strange
Fleeing high school drama classes to just sit for hours as the
Leaves would fall, begging for the season to change
Seeing God in what's unplanned

She reminds me I haven't changed
I can still pause my stress and stop writting these lesson plans
I can still cradle my face in prayer
With two fingers pointed up, like Malcolm, toward heaven
Becuase she points her two feet forward, like Malcolm, toward heaven
Becuase we can all still interrupt the bells of history and
Walk out, like Malcolm, toward revolution
Revolving like an unwound tradition
Cutting silence into this chaotic confusion

I wish instead of worksheets on allusions,
I could assign her splendid moment of silence:




"Students your homework is to walk the edge of the field like a pilgrimage.
If anyone asks why you don't answer just tell them your ringtone is now
the sound of grass waving at the line between sun and shadow
you can't hear their drama becuase it has blended into your scenery.

If the school district asks me what's the objective of this lesson
I'll tell them I want you to discover it for yourselves:
That sometimes forward is all you need
Sometimes motion becomes your creed."