The Unfaithfulness of Colleen LaRose
You plead not guilty.
You plot the murder,
make false statements, tuck your crude
blondeness beneath a clean white hijab.
Your eyes the shape of almonds
balance innocence with the need for black veils.
Concealment, don't you know, is more than just disguise.
you've come a long way
from suburban Philadelphia.
Was it the 15 minutes you wanted
or the handle Jihad Jane?
When was it you first imagined
your mugshot on milk cartons
in America's corner grocery stores?
It doesn't help you're a convert.
You, proclaiming in your own YouTube video
how you want — no doubt about it —
to help the suffering Muslim people
Hunt a Swede with a bounty on his head,
recruit with a vengeance to
become a blue-eyed martyr to the cause.
Yours is the kind of help that always goes down bad.
Blending in was the least of your worries;
desperate to do something somehow
you took out permanent residency
in the land where Vikings and Amazons roamed.
The police, Fatima LaRose, took notice.
Your 4 feet 11 inches, the frame less than 100 pounds,
they recorded. They read up on your two marriages,
The fact that you were just like the other soccer moms
from small towns USA, wind chimes and a star
hanging from your balcony.
They made sense of your arrests for bad checks,
the drunk driving, your swilling for an Egyptian boyfriend,
that trail of online searches to find your target
and eliminate him forever.
"She seemed normal to me. She was a good person."
What made you so unfaithful, Colleen the Fair?
What dead-set your heart
to come out of the woods of Pennsylvania,
cross an ocean, frighten the whole non-believer world
with your orders to take Lars Vilks down?
At your unsuccessful attempt at suicide,
your sister in Texas rushed to your side.
Not then but now
you call it an honor and great pleasure
to kill and die.
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote this poem, based on the arrest of alleged terrorist Colleen LaRose, a.k.a Fatima LaRose a.k.a. Jihad Jane, for the March 23 Blog Carnival, sponsored by Bridget Chumbley of One Word at a Time and Peter Pollock of Rediscovering the Church.
The Blog Carnival is a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write on a one-word prompt or topic. This week's is "faithfulness". Go here for a list of links to all of the contributions, which are posted throughout the day.
The Blog Carnival's Facebook page is here.
Notes on the Poem
The italicized phrases come directly from LaRose's online posts. The quote "She seemed normal to me. She was a good person." comes from a statement made by LaRose's former boyfriend to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Those who might be unfamiliar with the story need only google "Jihad Jane" to read the many news articles posted to the Web. (See this, for example.) Video of LaRose, such as this, also is widely available.
LaRose, 46, has been in U.S. custody since October 15, 2009. She was arraigned in Philadelphia March 18, pleading "not guilty" to all the charges against her. The federal indictment, which chronicles her travels and contains text of her electronic communications with alleged jihadists, is here.
A number of LaRose's alleged conspirators were arrested in Ireland on March 2, 2010.
Lars Vilks is a Swedish cartoonist who was targeted for death after drawing in 2007 an image of the prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
There is some contradiction in accounts of LaRose's physical appearance. In some, she's described as "tiny", 4 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing less than 100 pounds. In others, she's said to be 5 feet 2 inches tall. For emphasis, I used the former description. I take some poetic license in incorporating various other "facts" from news stories.