Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Stubborn Ounces of My Weight"--Bonaro Overstreet's Great Little Poem

A friend of mine, Kathy Flora, signs off her emails with a wonderful little poem by Bonaro Overstreet, who lived from 1903 to 1985. Overstreet was an author, poet, and psychologist, and her obituary can be seen here: Bonaro Overstreet obit.

Here is her powerful little poem:

Stubborn Ounces of My Weight

by Bonaro Overstreet

You say the little efforts that I make 
will do no good: they never will prevail 
to tip the hovering scale 
where Justice hangs in the balance.

I don't think I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate

in favor of my right to choose which side 
shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.

Judy Bechtel Blackburn and I used this poem in a biography of Maurice McCrackin we published in 1991--Building the Beloved Community: Maurice McCrackin's Life for Peace and Civil Rights. Hardback copies of this book are hard to find (try, but a revised paperback version is readily available. We used this poem because it was one of McCrackin's favorites.

Anyway, Kathy, just like Maurice McCrackin, puts the "stubborn ounces of her weight" to work in her service to the environment (Frack-Free Geauga), and in her work for the hungry and homeless. So many fine people around here also lend the stubborn ounces of their weight for justice and peace. I will try to acknowledge these extraordinary people from time to time.

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