Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"People Equal" by James Berry

Today I'd like to share with you a poem by James Berry. It appears in the book A NEST FULL OF STARS (Greenwillow Books, 2002).

People Equal

Some people shoot up tall.
Some hardly leave the ground at all.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

One voice is a sweet mango.
Another is a nonsugar tomato.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

Some people rush to the front.
Others hang back, feeling they can't.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

Hammer some people, you meet a wall.
Blow hard on others, they fall.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

One person will aim at a star.
For another, a hilltop is too far.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

Some people get on with their show.
Others never get on the go.
     Yet--people equal. Equal.

- James Berry
I love this poem! Love the rhythm and repetition, and how James Berry's Caribbean heritage shines through every line.

And, I have been all of these people at one time or another. It's important when we talk about people and equality to remember how people change from moment to moment, year to year. We aren't static. We make mistakes. There's no one right way to be. We can be mango sweet AND nonsugar tomato. Hard AND soft. Go-get-em AND sit-tight.

In fact, one of the things that makes humans so interesting is how we can hold all of these different qualities at the same time.

Today I am mango-y and happy to rest at the bottom of the hill. How 'bout you?

1 comment:

  1. I like this poem a lot, Irene. My voice feels more jasmine tea today :-) xo


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