We come in all sizes and shapes,
our skins and hair a wonderful variety
of hues from black to pale as milk.
Some have skins speckled with dots,
or with splashes of color, lines
and scars, accidental or purposeful.
We watch eyes, hands, bodies, mouths.
We listen to others' words, noises
and the silences which separate.
We intuit meanings beyond the language;
in the slight movement of brows or lips,
in the shrug of a shoulder, the intake of breath,
movement of the eyes, the turn of a hand,
a moment's hesitation, the waver of voice.
We misunderstand and do not seek clarification.
We jump to wrong conculsions,
We hold onto hurts and refuse to forgive.
We are large-hearted and selfless in crisis
much more than in our everyday lives.
We are tender toward the very young
but impatient with the very old.
We need solitude, sleep, touch, and
connections more than we sometimes admit.
We speak the truth quietly, in the dark,
and smile through lies in broad daylight.
We are capable of great strengths
as well as regrettable weaknesses.
We create coverings for our nakedness
like no other species.
We have eager curiosity and
a thirst for knowledge.
We invent, dream things that might be,
make markings on rock, in clay,
on paper, in attempts to capture time,
images, thoughts and ideas.
We create our own songs,
musical instruments and
bizarre languages to symbolize
tones, times, measures,
quantities, arts and sciences.
We discovered principals of matematics
and physics, chemistry, medicine, flight.
We study the heavens and every
other species which shares this
blue and green water-planet with us.
We are capable of unbelievable violence
as well as immense kindness, gentleness
We repeat our mistakes generation
after generation, although we are
quick to learn so many other things.
We know hope, faith in the unknowable,
trust, suspicion, grief and despair.
My greatest hope is that we can
figure out how to survive
with our best lights intact,
and our worst ones winnowed away.