A poem by Amreen Patel

Amreen Patel is a second year premed student at Drew University.  She read this poem at a college students gathering Friday June 6th in New York City.

On the bus, I drink my tea
And sit in my seclusion
A woman glares at me,
I can see her confusion.
Only a girl, she doesn’t know,
How much more there is to show.
She can have opportunities
If only she knew of her abilities.
So she thought.
And as she gives me looks
of utter disapproval
What am I to do?
But look at her and wonder.
Would she like me better if I didn’t cover?
This stranger is blinded,
By this mystery.
It is a world she cannot see.
Why would she?
She knows not of beauty
What it truly means;
To be in control of who really sees.
Please, stare as much as you like
I don’t need your sympathy.
You think I don’t have an opinion?
Or a voice?
Did you know hijab is my choice?
I feel free, and respected
But you, you are unprotected.
You taunt and tease
But really, who are you trying to please?
My hijab, it speaks for me.
I am recognized by my intellect,
Not by what they can see.
When they ask me why,
Like they always do.
I tell them God;
He wanted me to.


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