All morning my hood was up

warming my head and muffling sound waves

coming from the radio,

and my cocoon was pleasant

while I thought of horses wearing blinders—

those beautiful and powerful

animals without a choice.

And without moving my head

I tried to look left and then right

but I could only see what was before me,

and I was okay with that because

I could pull it down whenever I wanted

and because I wasn’t going anywhere just yet,

and I could drink my coffee just fine

and take my time eating my buttery toast—

but when Islamaphobia was mentioned on NPR

I pinched off my hood into a narrow little slit

open only to my eyes and thought about

what it meant to respect a culture? a religion?

a viewpoint? which insists that women live caged

beneath the cloth— made to believe

it has something to do with their own good.

And I felt grateful for the good sense

and the freedom to disagree.



DeMaris Gaunt


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