Origami at Kroc Center – Camden

Surrounded by children
who know how to please and
know very well how to displease but
choose to please because
I have something they want: Origami

Enough origami to make all happy at summer camp.
A flower, puppy dog, crane, airplane.
Fold the square exactly – point to point,
crease well. If it’s not precise,
don’t worry – keep trying. You can do it.

One sixteen year old, going to Rutgers, New Brunswick
in September. So bright, encouraging others –
You can do it – you can go to college.
Focus, concentrate, stay determined.
Some are not confident.

Who would be? Maneuvering between
parents, foster homes, shifting scenarios.
With suggestion, the skilled help the wary.
Papers: silver, gold, colored, white (to design).
Amazing, what can come from one piece of paper.

Amazing what can come from one child, every child.
A biracial Rutgers-Camden freshman counselor from Brooklyn
in long, golden dred locks, directing a painted mural,
later hung in the gym, told me
“Awesome” about the origami kids gathered round.

I feel exonerated from the glassy-eyed reception
of some adults to art for kids – from
people who feel compassion but know little of the
creativity of youth, most with gloriously mixed genes,
who will challenge every conservative status.

The samurai helmets of Chinese newspaper – a success.
One child cried to his Dad to return to retrieve his forgotten creation.
I spoke some Japanese – which some recognized as Japanese –
these children of multicultural parents –
the futures of our worlds.

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