A woman about my age who grew up in my hometown got chosen to be the Democratic nominee for vice president of the United States of America this week.
Kamala Harris wasn’t my top choice for vice presidential candidate (though now I think she was a brilliant choice). So I didn’t expect to be so powerfully impacted when she was chosen, but I was. Especially when I saw this photo:
I’ve learned that when I feel like I did, it’s a good idea to write a poem. Here’s what I wrote:
That Little Girl Is Me her mixed is not the same as my mixed but I know not being what is considered mainstream and I know a family history that’s a story of immigration and I know growing up in Berkeley, California in the 1960s and 70s I see that pigtailed girl and she looks like girls in my world in my America I remember being a little girl with pigtails— a hairstyle for girls who enjoy their flowing locks but sometimes want to tie them back when they’re ready to run © Karin Fisher-Golton, 2020
You may recognize that the poem’s title was inspired by Harris’s words “that little girl was me” from the first round of Democratic primary presidential debates in June 2019. She was calling Biden out for opposing busing to desegregate schools, a policy that brought Harris to a school I didn’t attend, but is not far from where I grew up—a school I still drive by and park next to often, and a place with a playground where my son played and learned to ride a bike. Although those words were against Biden, now they make me all the more positive about him and their partnership. It takes strength to partner with someone who has called you out publicly, and, in 2020, that is most true when a man has been called out by a woman. I respect Biden’s willingness to wholeheartedly make that choice.
I know that many people are deeply moved by Kamala Harris’s candidacy. And I’m guessing I’m not the only person who wrote a poem or might write a poem with some allusion to “that little girl was me” this week. If you know of any such poems or are inspired to write one, please let me know in the comments.
For more poems this Poetry Friday, visit https://nixthecomfortzone.com/2020/08/13/poetry-friday-is-here-2/—not only for poetry links, but also a post with two excellent poems where you can learn about a poetry form called a monotetra. I hope to try one soon. Thank you, Molly Hogan of Nix the Comfort Zone blog!