Daughter of First Hate Crime After 9/11 Writes Emotional Poem

In memorial of Balbir Singh Sodhi, murdered on September 15, 2001.
The victim of the first hate crime to result in death after the World Trade Center attacks. Via: Sikh 24

Sodhi was murdered at a family-owned gas station just hours after the 9/11 attacks by a man now serving a life term. Courtesy:

my father lives
in new york’s buildings
which scrape the sky

and

my father lives
in afghanistan’s mountains
which kiss the moon

and

my father lives
in mesa, arizona desert plain
which swallows the first sand
storm/ bullet

yes

my father
Balbir Singh Sodhi

yes

my father offers
himself to strangers’ babies
he clinks/ clangs
with each coin tossed

into every collection
plate of prayers
to heal
a sister’s/ a brother’s/ another’s
wounds

and

my father wraps
his love
for every self/ every family/ every faith
in each turban cloth pleat
laid soft onto forehead
across nape
set back to forehead
with patterned care
like a thousand rows
of careful lined
sugar cane field

and

my father plants
every continent’s flag
every nation’s flag
every people’s flag
on his accent tongue
he waves the banner
of humanity breaking borders
with every
stumble/ of speech
contradiction/ of grammar
hesitation/ of language

and

my father stretches/ lifts/ rises
from the fiber
of every muscle
of every man
who pumps gas or drives a taxi
just so wheat and rice can melt
in his child’s stomach

and

my father lives/ my father lives/ my father lives
in new york / afghanistan/ mesa, arizona

in
the guilty
innocent
terrorist
civilian

in
the leader
follower
persecutor
persecuted

in
the thunder
lightning
war
peace

and

in my heartbeat
your heartbeat
our heartbeat

and

my father lives
in my love
your love
our love

yes
my father
Balbir Singh Sodhi

yes
my father
lives

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