You say I have a chip on my shoulder.
Oh if you knew the weight of the boulder!
The boulder whose face reflected the disappointed air
Of a girl a bit too dark to think that I was fair.
The boulder that judged a Latina can’t be smart
Should I then wear my I Q on my heart?
The boulder that echoed back my thoughts in manly tones.
The words expressed that had been my very own.
My life’s journey might have been thwarted by that boulder
Had grit and hope not tapped me on the shoulder
Vivian Viloria-Fisher, a former county legislator from Suffolk County who writes poetry about great blue herons and her children’s rites of passage in her spare time, formed a seven-member panel to select the poet laureate of the county in 2003.