May I

Not for sale

May I
By Kira Hoffman, age 11

May I speak to the dead
So I can tell my dog goodbye,
So I could drain the regret of missed
Time with my best friend.
May I be healthy so I can go
To school and see friends.
May I speak to animals, so I
Can get their opinions, and learn
To care for them better.
May I be invisible for a day,
So I can listen in on people’s lives
And better understand them.
May I read super-fast, so I can
Cram all the knowledge into my
Brain, without taking years.
May I be happy and make others
Happy to eliminate hate.
May I never be famous, but lead my
Own life.
May I get into the college of my
Choice, like Berkeley or UCSF,
So I can do whatever I want,
Like oncology or veterinary science.

This broadside celebrates the partnership of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools Program and Seattle Children’s Hospital, empowering pediatric patients with guidance from poets Sierra Nelson and Ann Teplick. It was produced at the School of Visual Concepts in April 2015 and letterpress printed by Sarah Kulfan in a limited edition of 106.

Often when I take part in a Words of Courage poetry broadside printing project, I am reading poems and finding a little bit of my life in them. The first two lines of Kira’s poem inspired me to illustrate my brothers dog, Roofus, who was basically my dog for years as well. A big, yellow, loving soul, with a pink nose and one ear that drooped. He had white feet and was a sweetheart. This broadside makes me think of him.