Said, “Hey little boy you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do.”

Said, “Hey old man how can you stand
To think that way?
Did you really think about it
Before you made the rules?”

He said, “Son
That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is.”

Ah, but don’t you believe them.

from “the way it is” by bruce hornsby and the range

“Just Because” by Maggie Kudrick

A poem for the 2020 MLK Day Writing Awards

Just because I am a girl

Doesn’t mean I am not strong

Doesn’t mean I can’t make my own decisions

Doesn’t mean I can’t pave my own path

And doesn’t mean I will break under pressure

Just because I am a Christian

Doesn’t mean I am judgemental

Doesn’t mean I am single-minded

And doesn’t mean I don’t love everyone

Just because I am tall

Doesn’t mean I look down on you

And doesn’t mean I cannot be loved

Just because I am white

Doesn’t mean I am not diverse

Doesn’t mean I think I am superior

And doesn’t mean I don’t care about the world

Just because I speak my mind

Doesn’t mean I am intimidating

And doesn’t mean I won’t consider others

Why am I not equal?

Why can’t I believe in what I want?

Why does my height affect opinions?

Why would I think that I am better?

Why won’t I give my opinion?

I am me. I am unique.

And, finally, a few tunes to mark MLK Day and to remind us that “the way it is” isn’t the way it has be:

“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan

“What’s Goin’ On?” by Marvin Gaye

“Imagine” by John Lennon

“The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range

“The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen (with Tom Morello)

“Glory” by Common and John Legend