I Saw Her

They said she was the enemy.

Her people vile by nationality.

Different, other.

Discarded as a whole.

Individual souls unseen.

Relegated to the shadows by the hierarchy on the platform.

So I adopted their ideologies and carried on the tradition of fear and ignorance.

Compliant, I assimilated.

I averted my eyes.

Ignored her existence out of fear.

No common thread of humanity bound us; religious differences separated us.

Different, other.

I pretended I did not see her.

Her dark hair cascaded down her back, the vibrant yellow of her dress contrasted.

She sat in the living room, an immigrant from a distant land.

An individual with a story to tell.

With the accent of her people on her tongue, she came across oceans to find her way.

Different, yet the same.

I listened.

Our eyes met as we examined and selected our produce.

Hers a deep, liquid brown.

Mine a deep, liquid brown.

Fear nowhere in sight.

No words spoken.

I paused, smiled, held her gaze for a brief moment.

Her face ringed by dusty rose,

She smiled.

An individual, different, yet the same.

She wore a hijab.

I saw.



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