For Earth’s Sake

Sometimes, I wonder If, to the rest of the Universe, Earth looks like It has been infested with Creatures as ruthless and Destructive as termites, who have Grown too large in numbers, Too adamant about destruction To be made to stop. Perhaps the smog in the air, Plastic in the oceans, Relentless amputations of Entire forests, War, violence, and hate– All the ways we’ve Brought … Continue reading For Earth’s Sake

Forgotten Children

She was nine years old, When I met her On a street corner Just outside the city, As night was beginning to Give way to dawn. The man, whose car I saw her leaving, Drove away, Never having asked Her name, Her siblings’ ages, Her favorite game to play. For, she was a child. They were nine, seven, Five, and three. And she, the oldest, … Continue reading Forgotten Children

Imagine (Titled by my five-year-old daughter)

Pretend For a moment That you are not afraid of Nuclear war Food poisoning Impotence Stray bullets Forgetting your language Loneliness Dog fights Ending up without work Coming out The other woman Rats Burning in hell Never finding true love Dying slowly Rape Large crowds Being told you don’t matter Losing your children Flying Not being able to return Finding out there is no heaven … Continue reading Imagine (Titled by my five-year-old daughter)

On the Eve of My Eleventh Year of Teaching, A To Do List

Resist: By teaching much more than the White narrative of American and global history Literature Geography Economics Struggles for liberty and justice By acknowledging your White privilege in the Lessons you write, and Relationships you build Always aware of How this privilege is shaping you And that you can choose How to use it By holding fast to the Belief that every child can learn … Continue reading On the Eve of My Eleventh Year of Teaching, A To Do List

Things I’ve Learned Since the 2016 Presidential Election

It takes women to bring about change. I was thinking of a couple, like Bree Newsome, Linda Sarsour, Maxine Waters, Nelba Márquez-Greene, Nikkita Oliver, Elizabeth Warren, Alicia Garza, Heather Heyer. But then I thought, if I list them all, I’ll run out of space for the other lessons I want to mention. Häagen-Dazs Belgian chocolate ice cream really helps get through the evening news. I … Continue reading Things I’ve Learned Since the 2016 Presidential Election

Her Life and Legacy

Another grieving mother faces America She tells us about her child’s life and legacy My child, she says Over and over again My child She paid attention, the mother tells us She made a lot of us pay attention She and I would talk And I would listen She would talk The girl loved to talk She smiles Remembering late night kitchen conversations Allowing us … Continue reading Her Life and Legacy

What Will This Time Be Called?

What will they call this time, long after America has turned this page?   What will our children’s children learn of this chapter we are living today?   What will be written of this time?   Will textbooks bearing swastikas tell stories of Neo Nazis sweeping though America, eroding everything that had been built through underground railroads, marches, bombings, oppression, blood, and sweat–to hail the … Continue reading What Will This Time Be Called?

#ThisIsUs

This isn’t us, we hashtag This isn’t who we are, we blog We are in shock Claiming to be Taken aback by a President who espouses America’s most ancient and Enduring hatred When has this not been us This bigotry This violence We see on screens Small enough to Carry in our pockets, so Now simply inescapable? Live footage of Torch bearing white supremacists Who … Continue reading #ThisIsUs

Some Thoughts on White America

A quarter of a century ago, having moved to New York at the age of sixteen from Armenia, I quickly discovered the role and nature of whiteness in America, and began grappling with the implications of my own belonging to a race guilty of centuries of supremacist practices, to which I had been assigned by way of a box to be checked on a form … Continue reading Some Thoughts on White America