"Stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside."
attributed to Kat Gaskin

Good posture was once taught

in health class or Girl Scouts

walking in a shifting circle

with books atop our hairdos

sliding off more than staying

on our impressionable heads

When I told male classmates

they laughed, I guess thinking

I was lying or inventing stories

for their fifth grade amusement

as we waited in separate lines

quietly for segregated bathrooms

Back then there were no signs

for the blind, no braille dots

no gender neutral welcoming

words in bold letters stating who

could enter regardless of sexual

identity, orientation or expression

Bathrooms now are available

for all, a concept that took far

far too long, now prevalent in

most public places although

I imagine current fifth graders

without girls balancing books

Atop their 21st century hair

still teasing fifth grade boys

as they travel freely heading

towards classes without bias

or perhaps this is just what

I hope is happening everywhere

For aren't we all one people

endowed with certain unalienable

rights and lefts that among these

are Life, Liberty and the pursuit

of Happiness with or without

an undue emphasis on standing tall

Unless you are a pineapple

ripening in a fruitseller's display

or waiting on a kitchen table amongst

apples and bananas and Anjou pears

you, wearing your green spiked crown

like the lovely Statue of Liberty lady

Symbolic of something forgotten

some colonial custom pushed aside

in vinyl-coated suburbs or lost

in gated communities but previously

at walkway's end, two pineapples

hospitably saying hello in silence


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