The Peak: A Poem by Isa Dugan

J-Term at Blair opened up doors for meaningful discussions concerning inequities, race, gender, sexuality, and many other aspects that are becoming a regular part of conversations in the community. Inspired by the many different engaging courses J-Term offered, some students have taken their own initiative and created works to display their interest and knowledge on the subjects.

Isa Dughan ’22 participated in Dr. Marakovich and Mr. Redos’ course The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and explored the inequities in the health industry and bioethics through the lens of Lacks’s story.

She says she is “so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore, discuss, and learn about these vitally important topics.” After a virtual trip to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Big Rapids, Michigan, Isa was inspired to write a poem to reflect on her experience and process the information she gained.

She says, “I hope that this poem in its own unique way will get people thinking about the past while keeping and instilling a hopeful eye towards the future.”

The Peak
How can you go on without knowing
without growing
without being
aware
of the past of our stories
of the past that we share

We made mistakes
as humans do
but those mistakes were rarely few
and seemed alright at the time of passing but there’s no excuse
for the humanity lacking

it’s never OK
to cast those aside
to put people at the bottom
as others climb high

To fathom a world
where people aren’t people
but objects to
buy
purchase
sell
use
for what?
is it money?
is it greed?
that drives our need
to climb up the ladder
Alone to the top
the crown in the distance
with not so much as a stop
to look back and
check in on the lives that
might win
could get
with promised potential
to the top

Why does there need to be a top
a place to reach
A place to stop
to denote a height
a chasm to cross
is to put every other win at a loss
against the magnitude of a peak
the peak
which we guess is something
everyone seeks

The irony of the truth
is that to get people up
Many had to be put down
so if the top is something to seek
then why isn’t there room
for peaceable peace
a piece of acceptance
Of love
to cultivate and provide
instead of continuing in growing divide because humanity shares
more than what
we lack
if only we saw ourselves as a
universal pack
that works
not just to survive but
to thrive
together instead of alone
Intertwined instead of severed
Joined hands together
words spoken with passion
seeing with gratitude and love
instead of blocking
the fullness of our universe’s breadth

I am who I am because
of the people I met
the places I went and
the time I spent
fostering my exposure
Seeking truths
in between the lines
building bridges of honesty
instead of fences of lies
Opening doors and
letting people in
while letting the stories flow out and
back in again
like a continuous rhythm
of the oceans tide
The natural ease of
Listening and telling as
our clock keeps on ticking
inciting our minds
our hearts and souls
to overcome this divide
In an effort to make us whole

No one is better
no one is enough
because the beauty of the painting
that we constantly create
are the intricate colors and
the vastness of our worldly estate
rich in each other
in some ones who are
mothers
fathers
brothers
sisters
friends
Humans
until the end

Sophia Papadopoulo

Sophia Papadopoulo '22 has been at Oracle since her freshman year at Blair Academy and is a writer and editor. She works and manages different aspects of the Oracle and focuses on lifestyle articles centered around her interests and the Blair community. She is from Bermuda and is very happy to be returning for 2020-2021.