You Can Call Me Abdul, a Poem
You Can Call Me Abdul
The cab pulled over to the kerb (curb)
At the airport taxi rank.
The driver asked me "Where to Sir?"
"Just to the nearest bank."
As he drove, the driver talked,
Told me about his life.
How he had to leave his homeland,
His little son, and wife.
His country was in turmoil,
War-torn, bitter strife.
There was no choice, he had to leave
To find a better life.
I could hear his voice was breaking
As he opened up his heart,
The need to bring his family here
To make a brand new start.
He stopped the cab outside the bank
And I asked him please, to wait.
He joked, "It's ok, take your time.
I don't have an urgent date."
The driver smiled as I returned,
"You were not long at all.
Where may I take you now please Sir?
You can call me Abdul."
"The Hotel Mariott," I said,
And gave him the address.
"I've business to attend to
But I need time to destress."
"I know a lovely place to eat,
The food is quite superb.
A quaint little restaurant
Run by a friendly fellow Arab."
When we arrived at the hotel
I bid Abdul farewell.
He handed me his business card,
"If you need a car, just call."
Unpacked and settled in my room
I quickly went Online,
Brought up the Palestine embassy
To see what I could find.
I did a search for Abdul's name
On the card, he'd given me.
Found out the town that he was from,
then called the Embassy.
As a former foreign diplomat
I have connections in the field.
It's not what you know, but who you know
When doing global deals.
I have seen countries ravaged,
Families torn apart by war.
I'll use any influence that I have
To help this man, Abdul.
Three days passed, I made the call.
Abdul recognized my voice.
"I need a car if you are free."
He replied, "It is no choice."
Abdul drove me to the restaurant
He told me about before,
I said, "Why don't you join me?
Leave your taxi at the door."
Reluctantly he nodded,
As I paid him for the fare.
I handed him a piece of paper,
"Call the number written there."
"Your family will join you soon,"
I told him with a grin.
For once he seemed at a loss for words,
As what I said sank in.
We sat down at a table
And I ordered us a meal.
Abdul didn't seem to yet believe
That what I said was real.
"Give me back that number,"
I said, holding my phone.
I called and spoke to my contact,
Then gave it to Abdul.
He confirmed his name, then listened,
Then his face lit in a smile,
As what I'd told him was enforced
He'd soon see his wife and child.
It doesn't matter who you are,
Religion, race, or creed,
Every man, woman, and child
Deserves the basic needs.
Why should where you're born determine
If you should starve or feast?
If you should suffer threat of war
Or be struck down by disease?
Everyone is equal,
On this world called Earth,
Health and wealth and happiness
Should be a right of birth.
Extend the hand of friendship
To everyone you can,
Black or yellow, white or red,
They are your fellow man.
© 2018 John Hansen