Harper and Scout

Harper and Scout
                        For Harper Lee
                        4/28/26 – 2/19/16

She assembled me inside her mind
then wrote me onto the blank page.
She adorned me with a bowl haircut,
overalls, and dirty fingernails.
She installed a razor-sharp tongue,
blinding intelligence, and a blazing curiosity.
In my center, she placed a soft heart
stitched together with sympathy and understanding.
I was created a good girl
with big eyes and loads of courage.
I was glad she made me strong
so I could hold my own with the boys
I craved to be around.

She named me Scout.
I would be both questioner and observer.
She made me suspect grownups and their intentions.
I only gave respect when they deserved it.
I was outspoken but always honest.
I was a “handful,” they’d say of me.
I was her creation –
part tomboy and part mystery.

My wise father came as a present she gave me.
He taught me that evil exists in the hearts of men,
but the empathy that grew inside me meant I
would find that I could walk in another’s shoes
and understand their stories.

Hey, Boo.

She made me, certainly,
so I could give courage
to other little girls.

©Lori Ziegelmeyer poem
©Lori Ziegelmeyer mixed media art work
Image Source: Everett Collection



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