Remember

Inspiration for this piece came from two places: seeing repeated newstories and articles about COVID-19 and how people are acting. Well, that and how people respond/interact given the current political arena. And also, seeing this sculpture in a friend’s garden.

200505 9613 St Francis
200505 9613 St Francis

Remember
There was a time
When we could watch the news
And read articles
Without seeing walls between people
Without someone having to be right.
And someone being wrong.
A time when it wasn’t me or you,
But us.
The virus has changed some things,
And not others.
Brought out the best in people,
And sometimes…not so much.
Seems we can still struggle
With hearing each other
Without the weight
Of our disagreements
Or see each other
Through the lenses of our differences.
Do you remember?
There was a time
When we shared our weaknesses,
Our successes and uncertainties,
Without feeling judged,
Put down or even ignored.
There was a time
When we more easily saw our similarities,
Embraced our diversity,
And welcomed perspectives
Outside of our own.
Can we see more of that?
Be more like that again?
Let us open our hearts
And remember—
There was a time.

Still I Rise

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

Prince

Once upon a time, far, far away, lived a prince.
Prince was, of course, a prince… and handsome, too.
But no fair maiden would marry the prince.
So, understandably Prince was very, very sad.
Until one day a stranger came.
A beautiful stranger for sure.
The two met, secretly.
Then it happened.
Yes, really.
Love.