Take A Stand: A Poem by Geoffrey Canada

Who We Are | 04/26/2013

Anne Martens
Former Marketing & Communications Director

Anne is the former Marketing & Communications Director for Stand for Children Washington.

When Stand for Children first opened its doors in 1996, our friend and education advocate Geoffrey Canada wrote a poem for us.

17 years later, he recited it at our Changing the Odds lunch in 2013, reminding everyone in the room with his powerful words why Mr. Canada is such a respected educator and inspirational leader.

We hope you find his message as affirming and full of hope as we did.

Here's how it goes:

Take a Stand

Maybe before we didn’t know,
That Corey is afraid to go
To school, the store, to roller skate.
He cries a lot for a boy of eight.
But now we know each day its true
That other girls and boys cry too.
They cry for us to lend a hand.
Time for us to take a stand.

And lit­tle Maria’s win­dow screens
Keeps out flies and other things.
But she knows to duck her head,
When she prays each night ‘fore bed.
Because in the win­dow comes some things
That shat­ter lit­tle children-dreams.
For some, the hour­glass is out of sand.
Time for us to take a stand.

And Charlie’s deep­est, secret wishes,
Is some­one to smother him with kisses
And squeeze and hug him tight, so tight,
While he pre­tends to put up a fight.
Or at least some­one to be at home,
Who misses him, he’s so alone.
Who allowed this child-forsaken land?
Look in the mir­ror and take a stand.

And on the Sabbath, when we pray,
To our God we often say,
“Oh Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham,
I come to bet­ter under­stand,
How to learn to love and give,
And live the life you taught to live.”
In faith we must join hand in hand.
Suffer the chil­dren? Take the stand! 

And tonight, some child will go to bed,
No food, no place to lay their head.
No hand to hold, no lap to sit,
To give slob­bery kisses, from slob­bery lips.
So you and I we must suc­ceed
In this cru­sade, this holy deed,
To say to the chil­dren in this land:
Have hope. We’re here. We take a stand!

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  • Beautiful and inspiring. We all must hear and act.
    Sue Ellen Lovejoy

    April 27, 2013 11:47 AM

  • I think this poem is wonderful and inspiring. I have found that the majority of the people do take a stand everyday! I meet so many kind and helpful people everywhere I go and I go out of my way to engage with folks who don’t look like me or don’t come from where I do. I’m not worried about the people at all. What we do badly need is for our elected officials to stand behind us and honor the oath they took to uphold the laws of the land!
    Diane Wells

    September 11, 2019 2:12 PM