Stone Soup Servings Presents: Arthur Ray Collins

 

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry now meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery’s new location on 541 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square Cambridge, Massachusetts. The open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

This Monday, October 13, we welcome Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam co-host Arthur Ray Collins to the podium as the perfect end to a long weekend. Follow his poem before and join Stone Soup at their new location for more of his work.

 

Are U Down?

Dr. John Langdon Down was the first to identify it
Categorized it as a syndrome
A condition of special edition children with extra pairs of Chromosomes
1 out of 800 births is the ratio
Crossing all groups, economic and racial
Pre-natal these kids were labeled
Mongoloids, Retards, and Downies
So please, don’t ever say those words around me!

At first there was denial
Her mother informed me that she would be a very special child with a
Flat facial profile, slanting eyes, I was surprised!
My daughter, Taylor, was born with the grayest eyes that mesmerize
Light brown hair, skin as orange as the sun, even with her protruding tongue
She is my hero unsung
We overcame hearing loss by signing
I overcame my hearing loss by listening
At school we designed an Individual Educational Plan
At home, before Obama, we knew that YES! Yes, she can!

Potential Congenital Heart Disease & Vision Disorders
As parents we discovered ways to conquer the Physical and Developmental Delays
Little Ms. Taylor Ray saw a long list of Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapists

At times the challenges seemed too high to climb
How does one stand to behold the sublime?
Surgeries, emergency medical procedures
Seizures!

We never considered abortion her existence is a blessing!
I am her King Arthur! She is my tiny princess of perfection
My homey!
For those of you who don’t know me
Taylor is my youngest, born with an extra 21st Trisomy

A chromosomal structure that makes her unique
So watch her actions if you can’t understand her speech
She repeats everything, imitates, and laughs back at YOU
When Daddy is sad our favorite saying is “Gimme some kisses”!
It changes my whole attitude!
Her smile
Makes life worthwhile

The public is corrupted with misinformation
Kids with Downs Syndrome always exceed
Other peoples lowered expectations

I take life in moderation
Thankful to raise another of God’s greatest creations

I had to learn patience

Lovingly address ignorant statements

But recognize this vibe of pride I feel inside
It’s unconditional LOVE!
And it has changed me from the man I once was

On the Buddy Walk
Taylor is my buddy
My apprentice
My sweet, petite athlete who competes in the Special Olympics

I’m a big fan of poetry jams and poetry slams, you dig?
None of this compares to Downs Syndrome kids

Are you DOWN?

I am!

 

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