Sunday, January 20, 2013

Don't Forget Your Monkey

This was inspired by a story
in 2009 that ran on KCET
in Los Angeles.

*                      *                      *

In North Hollywood, California
Is Madison Middle School:
Something once happened there
Which was rather cool.

35 students took some time off
And flew across the nation
To be among the freezing millions
At Obama’s inauguration.

The brainstorm of Terre Fallon
Who teaches language arts
Will remain forever in all of
These kids heads and hearts.

Fallon asked for corporate help
To finance this expedition
But no corporate help showed up
To aid them on this mission.

Fallon luckily had a Plan B
Which turned out to be dandy:
The kids would raise the money
By selling bars of candy.

Car washes added more funds and
These efforts were so energetic
Other teachers made donations who
Had become quite sympathetic.

(There’s a good lesson here for the
Times we live in ---
The things we earn are better than the
Things we’re given.)

These students come from modest means
And I should’ve already stated here
They also got trip money from their folks
Many of whom immigrated here.

Cindy Rivera has El Salvador roots
And as she did her packing
She realized that her one suitcase had
Something that was lacking.

A stuffed animal, a personal favorite
To take on her first trip from home
And bringing this little creature along
Is what inspired this poem.

Cindy has Obama’s glow of Hope:
She’s perky, bright and spunky
And she told her Dad that she really
Wanted to bring her monkey.
*                      *                      *

A lot of people don’t dare to dream
They settle for what’ve they’ve got:
This choice they’ve made eventually
In their stomach becomes a knot.

But people like Cindy, Edwin Lua
And also Jennifer Tran
Know at their young ages to believe
Not in “I can’t” but “I can.”

As we head for the stars, we want
Something familiar to bring
With us on this uncertain journey
That makes our hearts sing.

*                      *                      *

Wish a wish, pray a prayer
Take a chance, dream a dream
Walk the walk, talk the talk
Dare to try and make the team.

Believe in belief, trust in trust
Embrace the new and funky
Be bold, don’t put your life on hold
But don’t forget your monkey.

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