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At the Lunch Counter

A girl, fifteen perhaps,
licking her fingertips,
smoothing splotches
of butter and salt
off her blue pants,
cheek muscles rippling.

Nathan who is blind
sidles to the stool beside her.

They talk, he pompously,
she making faces
he can't see,
telling the boys she isn't serious.

I'm Barbara, she says,
blowing her cheeks out,
wrinkling her forehead,
Fred Ward's Barbara.
I have red hair!

She giggles
since her hair is brown
with aluminum
fishes at the temples.

But he can't see

she stiffens and frowns
wanting us to go away
so she can be kind.

~by Alden Nowlan

Make the poem come alive-You were there

You were an observer at the lunch counter. You have a family member who is blind. What would you like to say to Barbara about her behaviour?

I would tell Barbara that whatever she did at the lunch counter was wrong. I would have told her to act more mature by being able to put herself in his position and see how it feels. I would have told her to go and ask for a punishment from that child. Someone with a disability doesn't give another the ability to go and make fun of it. Understanding comes from the heart, and maturity comes from the mind. If one holds neither of these, then they are the ones lacking in humanity. I would have told Barbara that she possessed more disabilities than the kid she made fun of. Even thought that kid was blind, Barbara should have seen the innocence in his eyes. I would tell Barbara to say sorry to him and make an effort to change her attitude towards such people.

Please tell me if this looks good. Hearing a little bit from your point of view would be appreciated as well.
:-) I'll get it edited from Writeacher after

  • English -

    typo "Even thought " = though

    Some very good thought there. Sara.


  • English -

    hi. I am bit confused with the poem...does Barbara know that Nathan is blind before she pulls the faces..or does she figure out that nathan is blnd at the end,by saying the line"THen, she stiffens and frowns"??

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