This Thing On My Head


Poem by guest writer Anonymous.

This Thing on My Head


You see that thing on my head?
What is that? A hijab? A headscarf? A towel?
It doesn’t matter what you call it, because it’s just a word,
And you’re just a face that I probably will never see again.
Your words mean nothing. You’re throwing pebbles at a mountain.
Don’t you know that those pebbles are what made the mountain in the first place?
You’re strengthening me, perfecting my base, my core, my faith.

This thing on my head,
Separates me from one world and binds me to another.
Pulls me away from sin and washes me with mercy,
Pulls away from me my pride and sprinkles me with humility.
Builds a wall between myself and vicious gazes,
And lets people know what won’t be tolerated.

This thing on my head,
Lets me hold my head high and say that I am a part of
Something big.  Something unstoppable. Something undefeatable.
This thing on my head,
Lets me call strangers my brothers and sisters
Even if I don’t know where they are or whether they exist at all.
I can pass another like me and smile like we share a secret,
and she’ll smile back
Because she also has that thing on her head.

It’s because of this thing on my head,
That you can tell who I am and what I believe.
It’s a proof of my words and actions and the reasons behind them.
You can draw out my fears and paint my desires
And know that I’m not a puppet.
That these hands and legs that move aren’t the work of a puppeteer.
I have no strings pulling my legs saying walk here, walk there.
It’s not because of someone that I do what I do,
I do it because I want to.
And all I want is a place in that beautiful Garden.

This thing on my head is what gave me strength that day
When we were walking down the street and I saw a couple of boys walking our way.
Hood over head, face covered.
We stayed on one side, they on the other.
And as we passed them, someone said, ‘Salam.’
I looked up to see a man with his two small kids.
What illusions the dark plays on our eyes.
‘Salam’ we replied, and I wasn’t scared anymore.

So this thing on my head gives me respect.
It lets others know who I am and what I believe.
You might not understand, but that’s alright,
It doesn’t matter what you think of me because they’re just thoughts
And you’re just a face that I will probably never see again.