EQUAL PEOPLE: THE POETRY EDITION

Oil & Water

In the salad bowl of America’s soul

Sherry Kappel
May 22, 2020 · 2 min read

This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.

As a child I was proud to be told
America was a melting pot
that changed into a salad bowl
in honor of our being “multicultural”
now I see we honor nada and no one
but straight white euro-based supermen
and their blond bouffant karens
who all insist they rose to the top
on their own — no, we’ll never be a
salad bowl let alone a melting pot

Do we have what it takes to see
that love is the main ingredient
when baking twosomes a wedding cake
that hoodies are okay in the rain
when buying your brother candy and
toy guns shouldn’t get children killed;
a family out for a Sunday drive?
officer, put that back in its holster!

Love should be the deciding factor
when desperate families cross a border
murder should never be the answer
for being loved by someone transgender
gay teens should be embraced by their parents
women don’t exist just for your pleasure
and people should jog wherever they want
(or sit around in coffee shops)
without their presence being questioned
— or worse yet getting tazed or shot

So many people with so many needs
so many reasons to focus on others
find our compassion for mental illness
know that no one chose to be homeless
care for the sick, give aid to the junkie
donate to those with food insecurity
open your home to the child mistreated
we can and must do better (and bonus —
discover it helps us love ourselves more)

But that is simply the beginning
whether Jewish, Muslim, or Christian
love is the core of every religion
love is the first emotion we have
so call on black children raising their hands
help brown children to know they belong
tell your daughters how they are strong
tell your sons it’s okay to have feelings
no matter who they fall in love with

Keep trying and someday just maybe?
we can be more than iffy allies
expand to be lovers of humanity
reduced to our cellular least
celebrate our elemental most
living — nay dancing — to the mixed beats
of every heart on this diverse earth
the weight, the pain, joy and communion
of every single I Love You

About the Poet
Sherry Kappel is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer with an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. She looks for the best in humanity and is driven by empathy in her writing and in life. Her work is on Medium, where she edits the
Haiku Hub and Snapshots. Sherry lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughters, and critters.

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Sherry Kappel

Written by

Looking for the Kind in Humankind. Heart currently Code Blue.

Our Human Family

​Our Human Family celebrates the inherent value of all human beings by fostering conversation on achieving equality.

Sherry Kappel

Written by

Looking for the Kind in Humankind. Heart currently Code Blue.

Our Human Family

​Our Human Family celebrates the inherent value of all human beings by fostering conversation on achieving equality.

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