Monday, April 9, 2012

In Memory of Shaima Alawadi

Allison McCarthy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications such as Bitch, Ms. (blog), AlterNetGirlisticGlobal CommentColorsNWThe Baltimore Review, Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen, and Hoax, as well as in the anthologies Robot Hearts: Twisted and True Tales of Seeking Love in the Digital Age (Pinchback Press) and Dear Sister: Letters to Survivors of Sexual Violence (forthcoming).  Her guest column forGOOD magazine was selected as an Editor's Favorite for 2011.  She is currently a graduate student in the Master of Professional Writing program at Chatham University and lives in Maryland.

Shaima Alawadi 
thirty-two years old,
housewife in El Cajon
a California mother of five
found by her teenage daughter
beaten unconscious
drowned in blood
with a note:
“Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”

They left a note on your house the week before
You dismissed it as a childish prank
You did not call the police
Could you even have imagined
a world of kicked-in doors and
tire-iron swipes to your precious head?

Her death is an act of terrorism
Violence against women of color is an act of terrorism
Violence at the hands of white supremacy is an act of terrorism

your name means good-natured
I imagine you walking in California sunshine
holding your babies
laughing with your daughter
Your killers took nothing from your home
except what could not be replaced

There are no answers for Fatima
as she clutches tissue
sunglasses hiding her tears
speechless at her mother’s innocence
no comfort, no justice
She calls the killers
animals without a God