Sunday, September 4, 2011


Soft-woven scarf upon her head
a  rock-strewn ground on which to tread.
Observances at last complete,
escape to 'Playland' for retreat--

Employee states that guest must ‘shed’
the woven scarf upon her head;
“We have firm rules for safety’s sake;
that park cannot defer or break.”

Who knew this statement would incite
as scuffle breaks into a fight
from woven scarf upon her head
and regulation left unsaid.

Did Muslim clothing segregate
incite inert religious hate,
unravel First Amendment’s thread,
by woven scarf upon her head?

©  Ginny Brannan  September 2011

Photo from article, NY Daily News online



  1. no i like is a tenuous balance between the freedoms of one and the safety of many...where we draw the line means much...for her it brings a choice...if that is the rule then she can do without...unless we say the biz owner can not refuse service on the basis of their rules...or is their rule even legal...def thought provoking...

  2. You make a very strong and rhetorically pointed statement here. Thanks for making it.

  3. Ginny this is fabulous. You have done an outstanding job of addressing current events surrounding biases based on different cultures/religions and wrapped it all up in this glorious villanelle form!


  4. I am in complete agreement with you; I love your villanelle. I deplore one ideology taking root trying to force a theocracy in a land that has always been a refuge for any who were persecuted. We must not capitulate to this segregated thinking, or truly the blood of thousands will be in vain! G.

  5. Good for you to consider and question a perceived injustice. More of us should do the same. I like your poem Ginny.

  6. Hi Ginny, nice to meet you!
    Lovely write, beautifully done and great message. But it made me think of the horror of why the rule was started in the first place.... and it probably had nothing to do with religions in this case... but safety of passengers with dangling clothing. What do they do about long hair or braids? The injustice is how it escalated to violence without compassionate communication. Oh, I've said too much... again. Still, I liked your poem. =)

  7. Thought provoking, great message.

  8. Oh, I like this. It isn't about religion but about protection to believe and practice your chosen faith. Wonderfully written with passion.


  9. Interesting point here--to me the idea that wearing a scarf might be dangerous on a ride is I suppose possible, yet it doesn't seem motivated by "safety" in this case--the insistence on removal seems very personal, especially leading to scuffles and violence--thanks for this thought provoking piece.

  10. It's an honest topic... well worthy of your dignified poetry too..... I know there has been a problem with scarves and drivers license photos recently too..... it's a viable question.... I'm glad I stopped by..... very thoughtful poem....

  11. It's such a vexed question, this one! In Australia, police are insisting that in some circumstances they must be permitted to see women's faces - which upsets some women who believe they must keep theirs covered.


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.