My daughter, Eva who will be 11 next month, is taking a writing class at school with an extraordinary teacher. This week’s assignment was to read an article and then to write a poem inspired by that article.
My daughter read a piece about the life of Dorothy Height, the founding matriarch of the civil rights movement, who died last week at the age of 98.
This is the poem she wrote.
When I Die by Eva Burgos
When I die, I will be the black AND white butterfly of your dreams.
When I die, everyone will be in harmony. For I will be the sacred oak tree that forces you with love to be peaceful throughout your day.
When I die, I will be the black Siamese cat that lurks in your driveway. Watching. For if you are to harm a soul, I will bring you bad luck.
When I die, you will remember me as your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For I am not a racist soul.
When I die, all your ups and downs will become my breath of wind, my force of tornadoes, my whisper of spring, and my footsteps of sorrow and happiness.
But, this will not happen now. It shall only happen,
When I die.
Click here for an AARP article on the life and work of Dorothy Height.