Saturday, May 5, 2007

Day 3

Here is a poem I wrote in letter form:

Dear Derek Bok,

When my parents first
found out about my acceptance
to Harvard, neither of them

My mom told me
to stop screaming,
she had had a long day
at work cleaning up
after folks like
you and me.

I told her
I had gotten into Harvard,
and she looked at me
with the same blank face
she gives my brothers
when they ask for a new pair
of shoes we can't afford.

She asked me what it meant
to get into Harvard,
and I said, "Ma, it means
we don't ever gotta worry about
being hungry again."

President Bok,
my mom didn't want
to let me come to Harvard.
She didn't care about the world class
education you were offering,
or the career opportunities
you could promise me.
All she wanted was for me
to stay home so she knew
I was being taken care of.
It took me a month to convince her
that Harvard would take care of me.

Now, at the end of my freshman year,
I can't complain.
Your police department was there
to rush me to the hospital
when my pancreas burst
dripping bad decisions. Twice.
And I haven't been hungry
till now.

President Bok,
I know it may seem like
this is self inflicted hunger,
but back when i used to ask my mom
for hamburgers
she couldn't afford to buy
for all of my brothers
she would say:
None of us eat unless we all eat.

We are a community
and if one of us is hungry
we are all hungry.
I hope you take care of me
as well as I promised my mom
you would.