Rhyming Colors: A Poem by Mollie A. Steward

A peom by Mollie A. Steward

Once upon a time
In a town that did not rhyme
Lived a girl who wanted playtime fun
But was left alone by everyone

Her mother saw her face so long
And asked her daughter what was wrong
Our girl sobbed, “I’m not asked to play
“And one boy called me ‘freak’ today.”

Mom came near, teardrops to dry
In hopes the sadness soon would fly
By a promise someday all would see
The gem she knew our girl to be

She led her daughter down the hall
To look in a mirror which was full-length tall
“Look,” said Mom, “then smile and say
“I’m beautiful in every way.”

Daughter noted hair of light brown curls
Then said, “My skin covering is purple swirls.”
“Of course,” said Mom, “My own is stripes of pink
“But beauty is deeper than you think.”

So our girl took her cat to sit outside
In an effort not to hide
Another girl walked by as they rested on a mat,
Waved at them and called, “Nice cat!”

“Thanks,” said our girl, “She’s Bella; I’m Abby
“Bella’s a real multi-colored tabby.”
“Want to come see her jump through a hoop?”
“Sure,” said the new friend, approaching Abby’s stoop

To the door stepped two girls, one cat striped gold and pink,
While through the window, Abby saw her mother wink
There just might be some hope that with a bit of time
Things might eventually start to rhyme.

Mollie A. Steward is a retired Professor of Mathematics from Southern New Jersey. Proudly multiracial, she is the daughter of an educator and a brick mason and notes her family has always valued education. She loves writing poetry, and frequent themes are inclusiveness and unity; the concept for this poem grew from musings on those topics.

Learning of the Hooks Institute after watching the Chicago Stories special on Ida B. Wells, Steward recalled a memory of a meeting with Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks at the Convention of the New Jersey Education Association some years ago. “In a personal exchange, he graciously shared some hopeful scripture, a portion of Romans 5:20 – ‘…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’ (KJV),” says Steward. Steward is honored to be included on the Hooks Institute blog.