A Rhyme, For You

A Rhyme, For You – A Poem Written March 15, 2011, by Leen Jaber

I still feel like it’s my fault
The verbal assault
My memories in a vault
Tucked away in my mind
A place you can never find
To erase
Your disgrace
Or your face
Or the ant and rat-filled place
You made me live
Where I learned how to give
And never receive
My life unretrieved
My heart never sealed
Layer by layer pealed
Not one vein healed

A love without condition
And not one suspicion
Never mind my predisposition
Or my family’s tradition
But, that could never be
And of your prison I can’t be free
Your weathered hand upon my head
Sleeping in another bed
Your insults heavy like lead
A necessary punishment, you said
A natural consequence
Your voice still makes me tense
Telling you how I feel makes no sense
Aaah, but your MP3’s
More important than my tears
No matter how many beers
My hair pulled out in strands
Making fun of my favorite bands
How much more could I stand?
The holiday you wouldn’t let me celebrate
The clumsy me you’d berate
A sad seal of my fate
Your eyes filled with hate
But yet later filled with remorse
Your anger not finding its source
The wailing making my voice hoarse
And the damning e-mails
And of course your self-pitying tales
God, it never fails
All the cowardly excuses
Hiding all my bruises
All the religious abuses
But you’re the victim, and yet everyone else around you loses

So here’s to the memories that won’t die
Our snapshots in time
With no reason or rhyme

But, hey, I’ll be fine!


My Patience

My Patience – A Poem Written December 23, 2009, by Leen Jaber

I know you.
I know you from the inside.
You know me from the inside.
You’re magnificent.

You’re kind and patient.
Your touch inspires me.
Your love welcomes me.
It humbles me.

You deserve me.
I didn’t think I deserved you.
But I do. I really do.

You’re not a catalyst for negative change.
You’re not mean.
You’re not abusive.
You don’t refuse me.
You embrace me with mercy and comfort.

You’ve given me everything I’ve ever asked for, and more.
And, God, your kisses.
Your kisses take me to places that rival heaven.

I bore you two children.
And you cure my boredom.
You’re so gentle with your words, with your stare.
You made me forget the monster who changed my hope to gloom
And my innocence into something even Satan shies away from.

I found true happiness in your vows.
In your bed.
In your prayers.

When you trace your finger down my shoulder,
You speak to me without a word.
And I speak back.
And you understand.
Every whisper.
Every mumble.
Every clumsy thought.

I have no fear of the future without you.
You would die for me.
And I’d for you.

You don’t condescend my abilities.
You don’t push me away.
You respond to my requests.
You take care of me.

A four letter word could never describe how you feel about me.
“LOVE” is for children, not for us.
What we have is too rare to have ever been given a name.
No one but us has ever felt it.

You can take me anywhere.
You can lay next to me for all eternity.
And then teach me that tears aren’t only for crying.
I’ve been christened in your glow,
And have been reborn into a world that isn’t bad.

Thank you my love.
Thank you God for bringing my protector to me.
The 12 hours that has passed since I’ve seen him,
Haven’t allowed me to lose the impact of his warmth.
He’s the reality that will eventually perpetuate itself into my world.
That day is why I’m patient.

And God is with those who are patient.

Who is the Islamic School Generation?

Who is the Islamic School Generation? – A Poem Written on March 15, 2008 by Leen Jaber

They trained us well
But we knew ‘better.’
Some of us had faith in their words.
And now they’re happy.

But how about the rest?
How about the one with all the divorces?
The one who’s addicted to the bottle?
The one with many lovers?
The one who gets high?
And the one who has made jail their friend?

What did we learn Mr. Principal?
How to wrap a dead body so it’s not desecrated?
Or the best way to make wudu?

Maybe the boys learned how to wear a kufi.
Maybe that girl learned how to drown her sorrows in cognac and cigarettes.
Did you all know that you taught her that?
Instead of teaching the truth about life,
You made us think life was something we could all handle.

Do you know one of my classmates overdosed 3 times?
Trying to kill herself.
Do you care?
No, because you know “Fatima” and “Ali” and “Asma” and “Omar” are prizes.
Well, she hates hijab.
She hates everything that told her to have ‘faith.’
Did you cover that in your Friday sermon?

Did you tell us what to do when we wanted to kill ourselves?
Did you tell us what to do when our spouses cheated on us?
Or how to pay the bills when all of our money goes to therapy?
Did you tell us what to do when strangers in a cab molest us?
Did you tell us how to express our sexuality?
Did you tell us how to react when our classmates are dying of cancer?
Did you tell us what to do when our bodies are screaming for expression
But our brain tells us to subdue it?

Oh Universal.
Oh Aqsa.
Oh Islamic Foundation

None of you immigrants know our pains.
Our blood.
Our addictions.
You know nothing of our generation.
You wave scripture in front of us to save our souls.
But some of us are still damned.

This is for you.
Know some of us are married to Hindus.
Some of us alcoholics,
Some of us crazy,
Some addicts,
Some dropouts.

And you failed.
Some of us dead.
Thanks for a job well done.